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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.

Creating a legally compliant maternity leave policy is harder than ever. When you need assistance, trust Business Management Daily to help you deliver.

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The EEOC has sued an East Texas health care company for firing a housekeeper after learning she was pregnant. The federal agency sued Murphy Healthcare, which operates Frankston Healthcare Center, for firing Myesha Kerr, allegedly because it was concerned that she would be required to perform heavy lifting and be exposed to toxic chemicals.

You expect workers to get to work on time. Sure, occasional problems with traffic or family issues sometimes make people late. But chronic tardiness is another thing altogether...
Besides implied contracts, federal laws, state statutes and court decisions are chiseling away at the at-will doctrine as the number of wrongful-discharge suits spirals higher. Here’s why:

Last year, U.S. employees filed the second highest number of EEOC complaints claiming they suffered discrimination at work. You know that U.S. anti-discrimination laws require treating all applicants and employees equally. But do your organization’s supervisors understand the relevant laws? Pass along this primer on federal anti-bias laws to make sure your compliance efforts start right on the front line.

Q. One of our salaried employees was picked for a grand jury. She’ll be away about one week per month. Do we have to pay her during jury duty? She will be checking in via BlackBerry daily.

Terminating someone who is pregnant or who just gave birth can be dangerous. If you must fire her, make sure you can provide clear and consistent reasons. Tell supervisors they should never make comments that sound as if the real reason is pregnancy.

A Cincinnati Pizza Hut franchisee, the Twins Group, has settled a pregnancy discrimination lawsuit that alleged the company illegally inquired about a female employee’s health, shared her confidential medical information with co-workers, reduced her hours and ultimately terminated her because she was pregnant. One of several problems: She wasn’t pregnant.

Courts are starting to toss out lawsuits brought by employees who quit at the first sign of trouble without at least trying to work out a solution. Judges aren’t as willing as they were in the past to accept quitting as just another form of termination. Instead, they seem to be telling employees they need to give their employers a chance to fix problems before resorting to litigation.

Some ideas die hard—such as the belief that pregnant women can’t work in what some consider dangerous or strenuous jobs. If you make assignment decisions based on that mistaken belief instead of real medical information, you could end up in court.

When polls open nationwide next Tuesday for the 2010 mid-term elections, chances are, some of your employees will want to take part of the day off to cast their ballots. Must you let them? In most states, yes. Here's our state-by-state guide to voting leave laws.

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