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Sep04

Colorado Maternity Leave

Does Colorado have a separate maternity leave law?

No. Prospective mothers in Colorado, must turn to the protection of the Family and Medical Leave Act. The FMLA, passed in 1993, is a federal law offering leave for childbirth and other types of medical and family circumstances. Fathers are covered under the same law.

The FMLA guarantees employees 12 weeks of unpaid leave annually, provided they meet certain requirements. They include the numbers of hours the employee worked in the past 52 weeks and what their average pay was. It only governs employers with 50 or more workers within a 75-mile radius.

Only 11 of the 50 states offer their own maternity leave laws. They are Wisconsin, Washington, Vermont, Rhode Island, Oregon, New Jersey, Minnesota, Maine, Hawaii, Connecticut, and California.

The remaining 39 states do not have significant maternity leave or short-term disability laws. However, 11 of those 39 have developed what are essentially extensions of the FMLA. Some, for example, extend benefits similar to FMLA to businesses with as few as five employees. Others include state and municipal government workers. 

The federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) requires that employers who provide benefits for other types of leave must also provide benefits for maternity leave. But if that employer offers no other kinds of leave benefits – like short-term disability and medical leave – they need not offer maternity benefits.

Five states have passed laws requiring short-term disability programs. Pregnant women and new mothers may receive payments from half to 67% of their weekly pay. The payments, it should be pointed out, only cover the time the mother is medically certified as physically incapable of working. Usually, that’s 10 weeks – or 4 weeks before the due date to 6 weeks after. However, pregnancy complications and C-sections may result in longer disability payments. The five states are New Jersey, New York, Hawaii, California, and Rhode Island. Most of them set a 26-week cap on disability payments, except for California.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, September 4th, 2007 at 7:50 pm and is filed under
Attendance Management, Benefits, Compensation, Hiring and Staffing, Human Resources Management, Labor Laws, Workplace Management.
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