Human Resource Blog

Where HR Professionals Seek Answers

A Practical Source For Your Daily HR Needs.Lets Build An HR Blog Community Together! Want To Share Your HR Knowledge Or Gain Knowledge Through Other Professionals?Lets Discuss HR!


Maternity Leave for Small Business

We have a new hire at our office that is pregnant. She is due in a couple weeks. Currently, we do not have anything in our handbook that has to do with FMLA or Maternity Leave. Our company has a total of 13 employees. In Florida, are there any rules we need to abide by when creating maternity leave? Anything in particular that we should consider?

The federal Family & Medical Leave Act (FMLA) entitles eligible employees up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job protected leave for certain family and medical reasons, including childbirth and baby bonding, within a 12-month period. An eligible employee is one who works for an employer with at least 50 employees.

Some states have adopted state leave laws but Florida is not one of them.

The federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) prohibits sex discrimination on the basis of pregnancy. Under the PDA, an employer that allows temporarily disabled employees to take leave must allow an employee who is temporarily disabled due to pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical condition to do the same. Further, employers must hold open a job for a pregnancy related absence the same length of time that jobs are held open for employees on sick or temporary disability leave. Employers with at least 15 employees are covered under the PDA.

Florida has recently amended its workplace discrimination law to include pregnant workers as a class protected from workplace discrimination. The statute prohibits employers from terminating, refusing to hire, or discriminate against pregnant workers and other protected classes by paying them less or limiting benefits and other employment opportunities. A covered employer is one who employs 15 or more employees for each working day in each of 20 or more calendar weeks in the current or preceding calendar year, and any agent of such a person.

Though you may not be obligated to comply with these regulations, many employers choose to do so as a benefit to employees and to ensure consistent, fair and non-discriminatory practices.

Offering any type of leave of absence is at your discretion. Outside federal and state leave laws which offer 12 weeks of leave, it’s fairly common to offer at least 2-4 weeks of maternity leave. The more you can offer the better. Consider what you can afford to provide. Can your business operations continue as normal if you offer the full 12 weeks? If so, it’s a great benefit to provide and your employees will appreciate it.

Also, it’s best to adopt a parental leave policy that applies to both mother and father to avoid a sex discrimination complaint. When creating the policy, it’s important to determine eligibility criteria (will all employees be eligible or only full timers or only those who’ve been employed for 6 months etc…), leave duration, whether the leave time will be paid or unpaid, notice requirements, and how benefits will be affected while on leave.

Remember to communicate the new policy and enforce it fairly and consistently.


This entry was posted on Monday, August 29th, 2016 at 1:40 pm and is filed under
You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Leave a Reply

  • [ Back ]
  • WP-SpamFree by Pole Position Marketing

Home Ask a Question Archives

© 2008, All Rights Reserved