Q. Is there a law or reasonable standard regarding how many weeks maternity leave should be? And should we make that a written policy in our employee handbook? Even with FMLA, to which our employees are entitled, we thought maternity leave was either six or eight weeks, depending on type of delivery. —J.F., Pennsylvania
Maternity Leave Laws
Need a sample maternity leave policy? Information on pregnancy disability leave? We can help with the latest on topics like disability maternity leave.
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Q. My company offers 10 weeks paid maternity leave. Recently, a male employee asked whether he could take maternity leave. I said no, only women are eligible to take such leave. Was I right? —K.R., Maryland
When employees return from FMLA leave, you're required to restore them to the same position or a comparable one. That requirement might make you hesitant to make any changes to employees' jobs or conditions of employment while they're out on FMLA leave. However, a new court ruling shows that you can make minimal changes to a job description without worrying about FMLA violations ...
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Q. If a pregnant employee is salaried and is missing two days of work a week, can we legally make her an hourly employee? When the employee was hired, her contract should have been hourly. Is it legal to change the basis of her pay now? —C.H., Michigan
Q. Our maternity leave policy offers paid leave for female employees who plan to return to work after the birth of the child. If the employee quits before returning to work, she's required to reimburse the company for the paid leave. Is this lawful? —A.C., Maryland
Q. One of our employees is on leave after giving birth. She may qualify for a position that recently opened up. Do we have an obligation to notify her of that opening? —R.D., Ohio
Q. We recently learned that an employee on FMLA leave is working for another company. Can we fire her? —D.G., Arizona
Q. When an employee returns from maternity leave, do we have to give her the very same job she had or can she be put to work in a different type of position? —J.B., North Carolina
Looking for a good recruiting tool? Take a cue from two Georgia companies chosen by Working Mother magazine as family-friendly places to work ...