Does North Dakota have a separate maternity leave law?
North Dakota is one of 39 states that do not provide any type of significant “maternity leave” or short-term disability laws. These states simply rely on the federal FMLA, or Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993, to give prospective mothers and fathers leave.
The Family and Medical Leave Act provides up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave on an annual basis for a variety of different types of family and medical situations. All employees do not automatically qualify for this leave. The eligibility requirements have to do with number of hours worked in the previous year, as well as wages earned. The federal FMLA applies to all United States employers with more than 50 workers within 75 miles.
Another federal law that should be mentioned is the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, or PDA. This law requires employers to offer maternity leave benefits, only if they offer benefits for other types of leave. If an employer does not offer any other types of benefits, such as short-term disability, then they do not have to offer maternity leave benefits.
Of the 39 states that do not have state laws governing maternity leave or short-term disability, about 11 of them do have laws that may extend FMLA. Such laws provide benefits to municipal and state government employees, or may extend the same benefits to some smaller companies.
There are 11 states that offer substantial maternity leave or disability laws on the state level. These states include Rhode Island, Oregon, Wisconsin, Washington,
Vermont, California, New Jersey, Connecticut, Minnesota, Hawaii, and Maine.
State-mandated short-term disability programs are offered in five different states, including Hawaii, New Jersey, California, New York, and Rhode Island. These programs entitle pregnant women, as well as new mothers, to payments that may range from 50% to 67% of an employee’s average weekly salary.
It should be mentioned that short-term disability payments are only valid for the period of time that a woman is physically unable to work. Such disability must be medically certified. JH
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