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What Working Women Need to Know About Maternity Leave and FMLA

Answers to frequently asked questions about the FMLA

by Catherine Caporusso  |  10925 views  |  2 comments  |        Rate this now! 

7.) What if I'm not covered by the FMLA?  If you aren't covered by the FMLA, you might be covered under a state law that provides a right to maternity leave. Consult with a lawyer.  Even if the law doesn't give you a right to leave, you can try to work out an agreement with your employer.  If you do manage to work something out verbally, follow the meeting up with a memo describing the agreement and asking the manager to let you know immediately if something about your description is incorrect.  Keep a copy of the memo at home. If you aren't covered by the FMLA or a state law, and your company provides leave for disability but not for pregnancy, you might have grounds for a sex discrimination lawsuit.

8.) What if I lose my job while I'm on leave?  The FMLA prohibits interference with your FMLA rights and protects you from retaliation for exercising your FMLA rights. If your employer fires you and you think it's because you've taken a FMLA leave, then consult a lawyer -- you might have grounds for a lawsuit.  If you are fired as a part of a general layoff that also applies to employees who are not on leave, an FMLA suit would be more difficult, unless you have some evidence that they laid you off because of your leave.  If you are not protected by the FMLA, but you worked out an agreement with your employer in order to take a leave, and they fired you anyway, you might have a breach of contract claim. 

For more information about the Family and Medical Leave Act, visit the U.S. Department of Labor's website, Women Employed, and Workplace Fairness.

About the Author

Chicago employment lawyer and mother of two.

Read more by Catherine Caporusso

2 comments so far...

  • I also worked in a male dominant group and I did not really enjoy it, they where not the worst in the world and I did get some support but the worst of all was when they took the mickey of my size and the Maternity Clothes I wore, the where fashionable but they did not do me any good for my confidence, the men that is.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by gavelect on 17th June 2009

  • Unfortunately for me, I worked in a male dominant group. I had no support whatsoever from my boss(es)..I was on my desk three days after a c-section. .. I know Karma will catch up to these men.. because they will born a woman in their next life!

    On a lighter note, I am currently enjoy the freedom of being self-employed.. and my precious daughter!

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by christine on 2nd June 2008

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