WHAT IS MATERNITY LEAVE: What Is It & Difference in States


Every country has its own maternity leave laws, making it difficult to stay on the right side of the law while creating a global team. Although maternity leave is a compulsory employee benefit in almost every country, it does not necessarily follow the same standards. However, maternity pay, leave duration, and other restrictions can differ depending on the jurisdiction. Read on to learn about the paid maternity leave by state.

What Is a Maternity Leave? 

Maternity leave is defined as the period of time away from the workplace surrounding the birth or adoption of a child. The average duration of maternity leave is 12 weeks, which is typically stretched out over the course of a year. In compliance with pregnancy disability and sick child laws, a mother’s leave may be extended in particular conditions and localities.Several businesses choose to include full paid maternity leave in their compensation packages.

When to Take Maternity Leave

Most people decide to postpone taking their leave until just before giving birth. Hence, this is the best way to spend the most time with a new baby. Medical issues, however, can occasionally force people to take time off before the required 36 weeks. States may protect workers’ jobs during maternity leave for up to two years after a delivery or adoption, but workers are usually only protected for 12 months.

Employers must be aware of state-by-state maternity leave regulations. Not only will having that information be useful in guiding new parents, but it will also help you make sure you are in compliance with local laws. Below, you can find information about your state and more about paid maternity leave in general. They include

#1. Alaska

The Alaska Family Leave Act (AFLA) lets people keep their jobs for up to 18 weeks after giving birth, adopting a child, or having a serious health problem that meets certain criteria.

#2. Arkansas

Employees of the state who are qualified and have worked there for more than a year could take a maximum of four weeks of paid maternity leave.

#3. California

Californians who have worked for a year and 1,250 hours are eligible to 12 weeks of unpaid pregnant disability leave (PDL). Businesses with five or more employees are subject to the rule. Employers can contribute toward short-term disability insurance, and employees can qualify for eight weeks of paid family leave via state.

#4. Connecticut

Connecticut has paid maternity leave regulations for a state that apply to independent contractors as well. All enterprises must enroll, and sole proprietors must enroll for three years. Assuming they have worked in the last 12 weeks, all employees of a company who have made a minimum of $2,325 in their most recent quarter are eligible.

#5. Delaware

State employees in the executive branch who meet the requirements could get 12 weeks of paid leave within a year of a birth or adoption. This includes school administrators.

#6. Georgia

The Georgia Kin Care statute allows for up to three weeks of paid maternity leave for state, school, and teaching employees. Employees in the private sector can use up to five days of sick time to help out with a new baby.

#7. Lowa

Lowa companies with 15 or more employees must provide eight weeks of unpaid leave and follow anti-pregnancy discrimination laws.

#8. Kansas

Women who work for the state government of Kansas may be able to take eight weeks of paid maternity leave.

#9. Louisiana

In Louisiana, businesses with more than 25 employees must offer the same benefits for unpaid leave as the FMLA.

#10. Maine

Businesses in Maine with less than 49 workers must give new mothers two weeks of paid leave. Companies with 49 or more employees must give four weeks of paid leave.

#11. Massachusetts

An employee who works for an organization with six or more employees is entitled to eight weeks of unpaid time off under Massachusetts’ maternity leave law.

#12. Minnesota

The FMLA mandates that businesses with 21 or more employees provide their workforces with 12 weeks of unpaid maternity leave.

#13. Montana

Pregnant workers in Montana can take a reasonable absence and use their earned sick pay. All employers must abide with this regulation.

#14. New Hampshire

During maternity leave, state employees are qualified to receive up to 60% of their regular pay for a period of 12 weeks. They can only use this benefit once per year.

#15. New Jersey

NJ does not deviate from the FMLA’s requirements, although it does provide a pregnant disability program for people who require money during their unpaid leave. Employees who qualify for Family Leave Insurance can get up to 85% of their salary for up to 12 weeks. Employer donations are not used to pay for the program; payroll deductions are used instead.

#16. New York

In addition to the 12 weeks of unpaid leave required by the federal government, New York State Paid Family Leave gives workers an extra 8 weeks of paid time off. The majority of privately held businesses must acquire paid family leave insurance. Both full-time and part-time employees who have worked  for at most 175 days are eligible for paid leave.

#17. Rhode Island

Rhode Island employees can take 13 weeks of unpaid leave within two years of a birth or adoption. The state pays up to five weeks of wages during medical events like adoption or childbirth through payroll-funded Temporary Caregiver Insurance (TCI).

#18. Oregon

The Oregon Family and Medical Leave Act (OFLA) provides 12 weeks of unpaid leave, with an additional 12 weeks possible if necessary for pregnancy disability or ill child leave. In Oregon, businesses with 25 or more employees are required to provide this benefit. Before requesting leave, employees must have worked at least 25 hours per week for 180 days to be eligible.

#19. Tennessee

A maximum of four months of unpaid maternity leave are available to employees of enterprises with more than 100 workers.

#20. Vermont

Even though the FMLA may not require it, businesses in Vermont with more than 50 employees have to give 12 weeks of unpaid maternity leave.

#21. Washington

An employer-funded Paid Family and Medical Leave Act exists in Washington. Every business must take part; however, those with fewer than 50 employees are exempt from premium payments. The program is fundable for employees. You have to submit reports and payments on a quarterly basis if you have workers in Washington.

#22. Washington D.C.

Employees in D.C. may be eligible for two weeks of paid maternity leave and six weeks of paid parental leave.

How Long Is Maternity Leave in California?

The California Family Rights Act (CFRA) and the California Prenatal Disability Leave law both provide for up to 28 weeks of leave for pregnancy, childbirth, and bonding with a new infant. It may be a relief to know that leaving is a possibility during this critical time.

California’s Pregnancy Disability Leave Law

The Prenatal Disability Leave (PDL) statute in California grants workers unpaid, job-protected maternity leave. An employee may not be able to do their job if they are pregnant, have just given birth, or have a related medical condition. After a doctor’s examination, pregnant employees can take up to four months (16 weeks) of disability leave before and after childbirth.

There are no other prerequisites for eligibility that employees must fulfill in order to be eligible for PDL other a doctor’s diagnosis of a pregnancy-related disability.

Benefits for Salary & Disability on Pregnancy Disability Leave Law

Although PDL is not reimbursed, employees can use holidays or PTO time to continue earning their usual pay while on leave. Their employers may even oblige them to use this time. Pregnant employees can apply for short-term disability compensation through the California State Disability Insurance Program as well. For benefits, a doctor-certified inability to work is required. The employee’s inability to work must be due to pregnancy or a related illness.

How Long Is Maternity Leave in Texas?

Texas protects workers from pregnancy discrimination, as do the majority of other states. This implies that while you are pregnant, your employer cannot dismiss you, penalize you, or otherwise treat you differently. Texas law requires businesses to treat pregnant workers equally to other temporarily disabled workers. If your company allows workers to take time off for temporary disabilities, it must also allow pregnancy and childbirth-related disabilities.

The right to maternity or parental leave is not granted to employees by pregnancy discrimination laws. The provision of this kind of leave is not mandated under Texas law either. However, if both your firm and you are covered by the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), then parental leave is covered by the law.

Fundamentals of FMLA( Federal Medical Leave Act)

The FMLA allows eligible workers to take up to 12 weeks off per year for health and caregiving needs, including parental leave and pregnancy-related issues (including basic prenatal care). Prospective employees receive 12 weeks of unpaid leave for parental leave or pregnancy impairment. If you were unable to work for the last two weeks of your pregnancy, you would have 10 weeks of FMLA leave after giving birth. The FMLA does not, however include the following:

#1. Covered Employers

If a company has at most 50 employees for at least 20 weeks during the current calendar year or the calendar year prior, the employer is required to abide by the FMLA. The 20 weeks do not have to be sequential. Independent contractors do not contribute to the total, but all part-time and full-time employees, as well as those on leave who are anticipated to resume employment, do.

#2. Eligible Employees

FMLA leave requires all three of these requirements: You must have worked for your employer for a year before taking leave. The employer does not have to count any months you worked before a seven-year gap in service, even if they were not consecutive.

In the 12 months immediately before the commencement of your leave, you must have put in a minimum of 1,250 hours (or around 24 hours per week) for your company. Also, within a 75-mile radius, you need to work at a place of business with at least 50 people. Even though your company employs thousands of people nationwide, you might not be able to use the FMLA if you’re one of a tiny group of workers who works at a far-off satellite office, for instance.

How Long Is Maternity Leave in the US?

New parents are entitled to 12 weeks of unpaid leave under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act. Maternity leaves typically last about 10 weeks. Employees can take advantage of paid family leave policies at some businesses. You may also be eligible for paid family leave in some states and the District of Columbia.

What Are the Advantages or Disadvantages of Maternity Leave?

Paid maternity leave enhances the physical and psychological wellbeing of mothers and their children. Mothers may not feel prepared to return to work if their leave is too short. On the other hand, a protracted absence from the workplace can sever women’s links to the labor force.

When Can Maternity Leave Start?

From 11 weeks before your due date, you can begin your maternity leave on any day.

What Are the Positive Effects of Maternity Leave?

Paid maternity leave enhances the physical and psychological wellbeing of mothers and their children. Women who receive paid time off are less likely to disclose domestic abuse. Infant mortality rates drop as the amount of paid parental or maternity leave increases.

How Long Is Maternity Leave and Pay?

Section 54 of the Labor Act provides for maternity leave. Every woman who presents medical documentation of the due date is entitled to a 12-week leave of absence from work under the terms of the aforementioned section 54.


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