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Q&A: How much maternity leave?

How can I figure out how much maternity leave I’m entitled to?

Re: How can I figure out how much maternity leave I’m entitled to?

The Bump Expert

First, find out what your employer offers. Review your employee handbook and any medical or maternity leave policies posted on your corporate intranet, or check with a rep from HR. You may be eligible for short-term disability coverage and/or paid or unpaid leave as a benefit.

If you work for a company that has at least 50 employees in a 75-mile radius and you’ve been there at least a year,you are eligible for unpaid leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). It allows you 12 weeks off in a 12-month period. (It might have to be taken concurrent with any leave your company grants.) You can take it all at once or in shorter increments. For example, you could take 8 weeks off right after your baby is born, and then take one day a week off for the next 20 weeks. Your employer must continue to provide health coverage and must allow you to return to your same job or one equivalent. Check the National Conference of State Legislatures to see if your state has its own (potentially more generous) regulations on leave.

Paula Kashtan

re: Q: Entitled to Maternity Leave?

what if your company has less than 50 employees?

Wondergirl73 |

re: Q: Entitled to Maternity Leave?

what if you've been with the company less than 90 days?

SUMMER4718 |

re: Q: Entitled to Maternity Leave?

Does anyone know if companies are required to pay for your health insurance during your leave? Once I use up my vacation and sick leave, I've been told I will have to pay for my health insurance. Didn't know if this was normal...

mommajd28 |

re: Q: Entitled to Maternity Leave?

My sister took a maternity leave recently and is now having to pay the insurance that they didn't take out of her short term disability check.

pugs325jr@cox.net |

Q: Not sure if I'm returning, still get maternity leave?

What if I decide at the end of my leave that I want to be a SAHM, will I have to pay my company out or return any money?

LuckyLove |

re: Q: Entitled to Maternity Leave?

When I supervised, I learned that, if you were off the payroll for a full payperiod, you were responsible for your share of the cost of insurance. So if I take 12 weeks of FMLA, but only have sick leave/vacation for 6 weeks, I have to pay the cost of the insurance plan starting week 7. In a different dept, one woman scheduled herself to use 3 sick leave/vacation days per week and 2 unpaid, to stretch it out and not have to cover the insurance cost. Talk to your HR people.

Beth10/16/04 |

Q&A: How much maternity leave?

How does apply for/or know if they qualify for short term disability?

xjessickax |

Q&A: How much maternity leave?

I currently work in Human Resources as a Benefits Coordinator, so I can confidently give some answers to some of these. =) If the company is less than 50 employees or you have been employed less than a year, they can legally NOT allow FMLA leave. This would mean that you would be able to take however much time you have remaining for sick and vacation time... but after that, you would be expected to return to work. Without FMLA to back you up, they can legally hire someone else to fill your position if you do not return as scheduled. You WILL have to pay your insurance premiums once they can no longer be taken as deductions from your pay. You'll be required to send them a check for the premiums that you miss (employee contribution only). If you decide at the end of your FMLA leave to be a Stay At Home Mom, that is your right. You would just give your employer a resignation letter explaining your reasoning. Giving them notice BEFORE your leave runs out will increase the chances of being considered eligible for rehire. This could come in handy if you ever return to work and want to use them as a reference. So, once you have two weeks of leave left, let them know what your plans are - in essence, give them two weeks' notice so that they can fill your position. However, you WILL NOT be required to pay back any earnings or vacation time that they paid you during your leave. These were benefits of employment and cannot be taken back. Hopefully this helps! =)

tinalizzbeth |

Q&A: How much maternity leave?

My company explained to me that there is something called disability insurance that you can get during leave to protect your benefits so they don't lapse while out on leave. Don't know how many states/companies offer it, but it's something worth looking into. I know in my state (NY) they said they can only give you the paperwork/complete the process 30 days before your due date. Hope this helps!

JulyMama83 |

Q&A: How much maternity leave?

I live in Canada and all Canadian mothers get 17 weeks of paid maternity leave, followed by 35 weeks of paid parental leave (you read right...a total of 52 weeks or 1 year!!) at 55% of salary. Some employers will top your pay up if they so choose to. The 35 weeks of parental leave can either be taken by the mother or the father, but not both. So some families opt to have the mother take the maternity parental portion and the father the parental leave portion or they split the parental leave portion. Either way, it's a nice long year off for mother, father, and child!!

princess_paula |

Q&A: How much maternity leave?

I'm moving to Canada.

J24Ukiyo |

Q&A: How much maternity leave?

holy cow, what is wrong with the US?? i'm moving to Canada!!

frisch68 |

Q&A: How much maternity leave?

Unfortunately the US is one of the worst country (in the list of developed countries) for parental leave, be it maternity or paternity leave. There are MANY other countries that are way better. But, they have their other drawbacks as well, so it's a give and take of certain benefits of living in a particular country. Crappy maternity leave benefits are just one of the drawbacks of the US.

NicBirdie13 |

Q&A: How much maternity leave?

With my last daughter, I worked for a large company and I was able to go out on short term disability for 12 weeks. Because I had worked there for less than a year at the time, I only got 66% of my pay, minus whatever health insurance costs and such. In addition to that, they offered FMLA, which I'd have to use sick, personal, and vacation time before I could go on unpaid FMLA and that was also 12 weeks. In the case of being put on bedrest, if I ended up going over 12 weeks on short term disability, I would then be put on long term disability at 60% pay. I was guaranteed a comparable position whenever I did return back to work. I have FMLA for other reasons too, so my 12 weeks is actually less than that.

ajrobbins |

Q&A: How much maternity leave?

After my first, I was back at work after six weeks, because I wasnt FMLA eligible. The baby, however, coundnt attend daycare until he was 8 weeks, so that left us shuffling our kid from relative to relative for 2 weeks. Luckily we had that extra support. Ahh, the US really revers mothers and children ! NOT

wilcoxjrw |

Q&A: How much maternity leave?

I agree! Unfortunately, US does not have the best maternity leave compare to other country. My friend in Japan can take 2yrs off and still be able to return to her job like nothing happened. Here, I just told my employer I am taking 12 weeks off and they are already raising their eyebrows! They only want me to take 6 weeks.. which is not enough to bond with a child.. Sad but true..

Michiru |

Q&A: How much maternity leave?

Im no expert, but Michiru, I think your bosses or HR could get in big trouble for pushing you to 6 weeks. 12 weeks is the law, and while they dont have pay more than 6 (or even that I think) it is probably against the law for them to discourage you from taking FMLA benefits that are mandated by the govt. My company is kind of the same, but they are making remarks that dont come out and say it, but I can tell what they are thinking. Oh well, its my benefit and I am taking it! :)

sweetjame |

Q&A: How much maternity leave?

I would love to have my baby in Canada too!!! Unfortunately, I can probably only afford to stay out for the six weeks that my employer allows..Cant afford to do the unpaid leave thing....

swtthing71 |

Q&A: How much maternity leave?

I am 20weeks pregnant and an HR Coordinator.... Yes..Companies are required to pay your insurance while you are on FMLA - (up to 12weeks) leave however you must still pay your portion of the premium (if you already do pay a portion of it now) but if you fail to pay your portion they can cancel you for non-payment.

xstacey929 |

Q&A: How much maternity leave?

what about if you're in the military and there is already an order stating that you only get 6 weeks? even though this act is for federal and state employees and i am a federal employee, more than 50 employees within a 75 mile raidus and i've been there over a year.

lexiijo |

Q&A: How much maternity leave?

In Spain, paid maternity leave is only for 16 weeks. Moms also get 1 hour a day (for nine months) breastfeeding time, which can be taken daily or combined together to extend mat leave.

aritziaa |

Q&A: How much maternity leave?

I have been a nanny to this family for the past three years (three and a half by due date). We have worked together in the past to figure out vacation times as well as work time changes. They are thrilled for me, and we are working together to figure things out for later this summer and early fall after baby arrives. Both kids are now in preschool / school, so I would be working FT during the summer, but not now... I currently take care of them after-school hours only with the occasional day off of school being longer. I will have them FT during spring break.

DJBrown06 |

Q&A: How much maternity leave?

Contact your HR department. FMLA is a joke really and though there are laws it's good to know what your own company's attitudes towards it are. People think their jobs will be waiting on them when then get back when in fact companies are only required to offer you a comparable position if you even qualify for FMLA time. My biggest moan about it is that I worked very hard to save up 10 weeks of paid time off but those 10 weeks will count against my 12 FMLA weeks. So if in the whole following year I have a true emergency - not a planned for pregnancy - I will have only 2 measly weeks of FMLA before they can replace me AND no paid leave left.

cottonlily84 |

Q&A: How much maternity leave?

I agree FMLA is a kind of a joke. My company give 12 weeks total but that must include time I have to miss for prenatal apts and leave. We only actually get 6 weeks for regular birth and 8 weeks for c-section. They have actually (and illegally) fired people for taking longer even though their doctor had not yet released them to go back to work. Plus we dont get any time off for well baby checkups or unplanned emergencys. If we have to take off unscheduled time b/c our baby gets sick at the sitter we get that counted against our attendence even if we have paid time to cover us.

Hardygrlswthrt |

Q&A: How much maternity leave?

It's a scary prospect that you could lose your entire career because you're pregnant. I hope this doesn't happen very often.

nessjen |

Q&A: How much maternity leave?

The advice here is quite exhaustive presenting a lot of problems that people encounter with maternity leave. You could do some more research on career advise websites, but I think that everybody got the point: the US is not maternity leave friendly. I find this weird because many psychology research articles related to mother-child bonding come from the US and talk about the importance of the first 2 years of a child's life. I'm just saying...

jacklondon |

Q&A: How much maternity leave?

What if the company has more than 50 employees, but I have been there less than a year?

NSYoder26 |

Q&A: How much maternity leave?

I work for county goverment and we have no maternity leave, whatever time length the doctor says to be off is all i will get.

Annelea |

Q&A: How much maternity leave?

What if you work for a small company with less than 50 people and no HR department?

soupy7608 |

Q&A: How much maternity leave?

You shouldn't take too much maternity leave because your boss might not get you back. Luckily I work for Bradley Cohen and he is very understanding when taking employees back from maternity leave.

deanjohnson |


Im only taking 2 weeks, but I only work a few hours and the baby will have time with their daddy.

wannabemommakristal |

Q&A: How much maternity leave?

My company is telling me that I get 6 weeks maternity leave but my leave starts the day I leave and that I cannot tack on my accrued vacation to the maternity leave. What can I do is use my vacation time pay to supplement the maternity leave pay because insurance does not kick in for 15 days after I leave. Is this legal? My company has a small paragraph in the employee handbook regarding maternity leave but I have not seen anything in writing and 4 women in my office have had babies. Any advice would be appreciated! Thanks!! -First time mom

rparikh |

Q&A: How much maternity leave?

Isn't FMLA UP TO 12 weeks? If your doctor's opinion is that you're fit to return to work after 6, and you have to submit this paperwork, you can't just take 6 more weeks because you want to, can you?

lsumegan |