New Kids on the Block
Unless you have recently had a baby you may not know some major details that I plan to share over this 3-part series. So buckle your car seat and let’s take a look.
Maternity and Paternity leave
It is important to do your research to determine if you have company-provided maternity or paternity leave when planning to have a baby. The U.S. does not have a standard maternity or paternity leave length. Company policies vary significantly when it comes to maternity/paternity leave ranging from 12 weeks of unpaid FMLA leave to a generous 26 weeks of full paid gender-neutral leave. In addition to leave, some companies offer childcare, adoption leave, fertility benefits, and employee resource groups for men and women.
Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) addresses more than just having a baby, but we are sticking to today’s topic. FMLA is federal job protection of eligible employees to care for a newborn child or the placement of an adopted child. FMLA is only applicable to employers with 50 or more full time employees. If eligible, the employee can take up to 12 weeks of unpaid time off work. FMLA requires the worker be employed at a company for at least 12 months or 1250 hours.
Short-term disability, as it pertains to pregnancy, covers up to 6 weeks of paid leave for a normal delivery and 8 weeks for a C-section. Enrollment prior to pregnancy is necessary as pregnancy is considered a pre-existing condition. Unlike FMLA, short-term disability does not offer any direct job protection, just a percentage of your income. You might be surprised to learn that you can be fired from your job while on leave and that you are not entitled to the exact same position when you return.
Next we will cover expenses to plan for after the baby is born!