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Aug01

FMLA vs MMLA

I have an employee that is out on Massachusetts Maternity Leave Act for 8- weeks for the birth if her child. If the employee decides at the end of her 8- weeks that she wants additional time with her child, can she apply for an additional 12- weeks of FMLA or just an additional 4- weeks of FMLA, as the MMLA satisfied the 8- weeks of FMLA due to the birth of her child?

The Massachusetts Maternity Leave Act (MMLA) provides 8 weeks of unpaid maternity leave to qualified employees. An eligible employee must meet their employer’s probationary period as a full time employee or, absent a probationary period, be employed by the same employer for at least three consecutive months in full time capacity. Qualifying events include the birth of a child, the adoption of a child under the age of 18 and the adoption of a child under the age of 23, if the child is mentally or physically disable.

The federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) entitles eligible employees to take up to 12 workweeks within a 12-month period of job protected, unpaid leave to care for newborns, newly adopted children and seriously ill family members, or to recover from their own serious illnesses.

The MMLA and FMLA are separate regulations with different requirements and rights. However, the leave may be counted simultaneously against the employee’s entitlement under both laws when the eligible reasons are the same i.e. the birth or adoption of a child. Thus, if the employee in question takes 8 weeks of leave under the MMLA for the birth of a child, she would be eligible for an additional 4 weeks of FMLA leave to fulfill her 12-week entitlement.

Though not applicable in this case, it’s important to know that the MMLA may entitle an employee to leave in addition to leave taken under the FMLA. If an employee takes 12 weeks of FMLA leave for a purpose other than birth or adoption of a child, the employee will still have the right to take 8 weeks of maternity leave under the MMLA. Additionally, under the MMLA an employee is entitled to take leave for the birth or adoption of each child. So, an employee who gives birth to twins would be eligible for 16 weeks of MMLA leave.

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This entry was posted on Friday, August 1st, 2014 at 12:19 pm and is filed under
Labor Laws.
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