Updated at: 16-06-2022 - By: Sienna Lewis

In Florida, how long is a woman entitled to during her postpartum period? There are many new mothers in the state of Florida who ask this question. We’ve put together a guide to help with these kind of inquiries.

There are no laws in the state of Florida that protect new parents from losing their jobs or losing their benefits.

Pregnancy discrimination under Title VII and family leave under the Family Medical Leave Act are the only federal safeguards available to private sector workers in this situation (FMLA).

How Long is Maternity Leave in Florida Available?

The twelve-week minimum maternity leave time is required by law. Depending on the sort of organization, the number of days off may vary. You can choose from a variety of options when it comes to the paid leave. Depending on an employee’s health and other factors, they may be eligible for paid time off.

How Long Is Maternity Leave in Florida - Krostrade

Eligibility For The Paid Maternity Leave Florida:

  • There must have been a minimum of a year of employment with the employer before a worker is able to take advantage of the FMLA (Federal Family and Medical Leave Act).
  • Workers in industries or organizations must have worked at least a thousand two hundred and fifty hours in the previous year.
  • At the company’s premises and within a 50-mile radius, the employees are also working.

Workers who meet the above-mentioned requirements are eligible for paid time off from their employer.

Pregnancy Discrimination Act?

An employer cannot fire, refuse to hire, or deny promotion on the basis of pregnancy under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. Any other employee should be treated equally with the woman who has joined their team. Sick leave and disability benefits, if they’re available elsewhere, apply to pregnancy-related concerns as well.

FMLA

Those who work in the commercial or public sector can take 12 weeks of unpaid leave to care for newborns and newly adopted children under the Family Medical Leave Act. One thing though, if you plan on using this act then make sure your employer has more than 50 employees within 75 miles because otherwise, they won’t guarantee any protection for babysitting services.

Only in the United States is paid maternity leave not mandatory at the national level, making it unique among developed countries. California and New Jersey are the only states where it is legally mandated for employers to grant time off for parents who are pregnant or new mothers who are returning from the hospital.

There is no childcare available in Florida, therefore anyone in need of some time to themselves will have to rely on sick leave.

Family and Medical Leave

Eligible employees can take up to 12 weeks of leave each year under the FMLA to care for a very ill family member, to care for a newborn, or for personal reasons. Unpaid FMLA leave can be used for accrued paid leave (such as sick or vacation time) during FMLA leave. To be reinstated, the employee must return to the same position after his or her leave of absence has expired. In addition, while on leave, the employee has the right to keep their group health insurance.

Which Employers Are Covered

The FMLA does not obligate all employers to adhere with its provisions. Companies with at least 50 employees for at least 20 weeks in the past year are exempt from the rule. Small businesses are exempt from the rule.

Which Employees Are Eligible

An employee must have worked for the company for at least a year, and worked at least 1,250 hours in the previous year, to be eligible for FMLA leave under the law. A 75-mile radius around the company’s headquarters is required for the employee to work in a location with at least 50 coworkers.

Reasons for Leave

Workers who are expecting a child can take FMLA time off for prenatal care and any time they become incapacitated as a result of their pregnancy (for example, if they are suffering severe morning sickness or their doctor has put them on medically required bed rest). FMLA leave can be used by new parents to spend time with and bond with their child. Adopted children, foster children, and biological children can all take advantage of parental leave.

How Much Leave is Available

During a leave year, employees are permitted to take a maximum of 12 weeks of paid leave for any reason. Pregnant workers can only take nine weeks of parental leave if they take a week of absence for doctor’s appointments and treatment during their pregnancy, and then are unable to work for the final two weeks of their pregnancy.

Pregnancy-related FMLA leaves are only available to women, of course. Pregnant women who suffer from difficulties or become otherwise handicapped during the course of their pregnancy may be able to request time off from work to care for a family member who is critically ill. Taking paternity leave is an option for both men and women; in fact, the objective of the law was to encourage fathers to take time off from work to spend time with their children and to help out with childcare.

Only 12 weeks of parental leave can be used by couples who work for the same company and are married to one other. (Unmarried parents are exempt from this restriction.) Leave taken due to a serious health condition, on the other hand, is treated as a distinct absence. Couples can choose how to split up their parental leave if a woman takes four weeks of leave while pregnant leaves them with a combined 12 weeks. There is a four-week limit on how long a woman can take as a parent’s leave because she has previously taken four weeks of parental leave. They also have the option of taking six weeks of vacation time off at a time.

Employees can take intermittent leave, such as working half days or working only a few days a week, to care for their children only if their employer allows it. See our page on FMLA leave for pregnancy and parenthood for additional details.

Maternity Leave in Florida: Frequently Asked Questions

Contact an Employment Lawyer

Consult an employment lawyer if your employer has denied you FMLA leave illegally or discriminated against you because you are pregnant. An attorney can help you determine whether or not your claim has substance and what steps you should take to preserve your rights.

Procedure To Apply For The Paid Maternity Leave Florida:

In order to be eligible for maternity leave, you must meet a slew of requirements. In order to get maternity leave, you must meet the following rules. How to apply for maternity leave while pregnant is outlined in the following step-by-step guide.

  • The employee must send a letter of request to the higher-ups within one month of the date of the meeting.
  • Maternity leave policies are relayed by an officer after verifying the letter.
  • This paid maternity leave requires you to provide the compensation amount, as well as your work responsibilities and another type of information, to the organization.
  • If your request letter is approved by your employer or organization, you will be able to take the required amount of time off during your pregnancy.

Women’s rights to a paid maternity leave are an important part of preparing for a pregnancy. To ensure the health of both mother and child, this sort of parental leave is available. There is enough money collected to cover the cost of paid maternity leave for all employees. Only towards the end of the pregnancy are the few weeks of leave granted. In order to have a safe pregnancy, this type of leave is beneficial.

What does the FMLA leave cover?

The FMLA safeguards your well-being and those of your loved ones. For prenatal treatment, severe pregnancy-related medical disorders such as morning sickness, or the placement of an adopted child with full parental rights from birth to 12 months after the kid is placed in their new home, this insurance provides coverage.

For parents who are employed by the same company, an additional year of parental leave is possible.

Who is eligible for maternity leave n Florida Under FMLA?

Workers must work 1,250 hours for their company over the course of 12 months to be eligible for this parental leave, however it does not need to be continuous.

Even if both parents work for the same firm and are married, the laws get more confusing because only one of them is allowed to take any particular period of time off from their position. If you have a major medical condition, you may not be able to work at all.

Do I need to inform my employer that I am going for FMLA leave?

Employees must notify their employers of the following under the Family and Medical Leave Act: To be eligible for leave, an employee must show sufficient justification for their absence.

If at all possible, give your employer at least two business days’ notice (30 days in advance), unless there are extenuating circumstances that prevent you from doing so.

Can I be denied FMLA in Florida if I am pregnant?

Employers are required by the FMLA to offer up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave to expectant moms and fathers each year.

One of two things could prevent a qualified worker from taking advantage of this much-needed time off: failure to provide proof of a serious health condition or failure to meet the FMLA’s notice requirements.

Employers should also be aware that if they plan to lay off people during the 12-week period, they don’t have to continue their benefits. It can be difficult for an employee to get FMLA benefits if she gives notice that she won’t return to the employer, for example.

Is paid and Unpaid leave allowed in Florida?

Paid maternity leave will run concurrently with FMLA for the vast majority of Florida employers. Pregnancy medical benefits and sick days must be included in plans that provide other types of medical coverage or sick days for illnesses and disabilities.

Can I lose my job for taking FMLA to leave?

Your employer is breaking the law if they deny you the opportunity to take FMLA leave. Using this as a reason to fire someone is illegal and will almost certainly result in legal consequences for the person who did it.

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a federal statute that shields expectant mothers from being subjected to retaliation for taking time off from work due to their condition.

As a result, businesses are prohibited from firing employees who are on FMLA leave; instead, they can reprimand them by reducing their hours or increasing their wages. For this reason alone, I strongly advise any pregnant woman who is contemplating an abortion to speak with an attorney about their options before making a final decision.

FAQs

How Does the Federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Work?

The federal Family and Medical Leave Act may grant leave to Floridians who are expecting or have recently welcomed a newborn or adopted child (FMLA). Employees who are expecting a child are not subject to retaliation because of their pregnancy, thanks to the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA).

This law gives pregnant women and new parents who qualify the right to up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave per year for medical reasons, including the birth of a child. An employee who takes FMLA leave will not be paid; however, they can use any of their earned paid time off (PTO, sick leave, or vacation time) to keep getting paid while on leave under this provision.

Employers with 50 or more employees must have used the FMLA for at least 20 weeks in the current or prior year to be covered under the law. All children, including biological, adoptive, and foster children, are eligible for FMLA.

During a leave year, employees can take a maximum of 12 weeks of leave for any legitimate reason. While a pregnant employee is entitled to five days of leave for doctor’s appointments, if she is unable to work for the final two weeks of her pregnancy, she will only have nine weeks of FMLA leave to use.

In the event that an employee is unable to work due to a medical issue, such as morning sickness or bed rest mandated by their OB-GYN, they can use their FMLA leave for prenatal care. FLMA can also be used to treat pregnancy or delivery difficulties.

A pregnant employee may take intermittent FMLA leave if the employer allows it.

Employers must return an absent employee to the same position upon completion of their absence so that they can continue receiving their group health insurance benefits.

Because of this, there is no regulation in Florida that extends or broadens federal law’s eligibility, and state law does not require wage replacement. As a result, in Florida, unpaid leave might last anywhere from 12 weeks to never.

Am I Eligible for FMLA?

An employee must meet four criteria in order to be eligible for FMLA leave. Employees should:

  1. Work for a company that is protected under the plan;
  2. A minimum of one year of service with the company is required by the start date of the FMLA leave.
  3. The employee must have worked at least 1,250 hours for the employer in the 12 months prior to the start of the FMLA leave; and
  4. To be eligible for leave, an employee must work at a location where the company has at least 50 employees within 75 miles of where they are currently based.

In cases where the pregnant woman is unable to care for herself due to pregnancy-related difficulties, her husband can take FMLA leave to care for her.

How Much Notice Must I Give My Employer about My FMLA Leave?

The FMLA mandates that employees request leave at least 30 days in advance. Employees who qualify for the FMLA may be compelled to explain why they need the time off.

Notice must be made “as soon as practical” where the requirement is unexpected, such as when a problem occurs prior to birth. One to two business days is typical.

Notice must be made by the employee within two days of returning to work if the employee wants the leave to be counted as FMLA leave.

How Does the Pregnancy Discrimination Act Work?

There is a federal legislation called the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) that forbids discrimination based on pregnancy in any aspect of employment such as hiring and firing, compensation and job assignments and promotions, layoffs, training, fringe benefits and health insurance.

Florida Pregnancy Laws: Your Pregnancy & Maternity Rights in Florida

Despite the fact that the Pregnancy Discrimination Act does not force businesses to provide pregnancy or parental leave, if an employer already provides leave for other temporary disabilities, it must provide the same leave to employees who are pregnant.

Does the Florida Human Rights Act Provide Pregnancy Leave?

When it comes to job discrimination based on marital status and gender, the Florida Human Rights Act has no exceptions. In 2015, this statute was updated to explicitly prohibit pregnancy discrimination.

Pregnant women cannot be discriminated against in terms of compensation, terms, or working conditions or privileges by an employer. A pregnant woman cannot be denied work prospects or have her status as an employee negatively affected because of her pregnancy, according to federal law.

Those who employ 15 or more people are covered by the FHRA.

What Happened to the Proposed “Florida Family Leave Act”?

Workers who have worked for a company for at least 18 months and want to take a paid family leave of up to three months following the birth or adoption of a child can do so under new legislation presented in late 2019 called the “Florida Family Leave Act.”

As a result, the Senate version died in the Commerce and Tourism Subcommitte in March of this year; the House version failed in the Business and Professions Committee.

Can I Get Short-Term Disability For Maternity Leave?

Short-term disability benefits are not mandated by law in Florida for employees who are temporarily unable to work due to illness or injury. A state-sponsored short-term disability plan is also absent in Florida.

Companies in Florida with short-term disability policies that pay workers some of their wages while they are on short-term disability because of an injury or illness are available. Pregnant workers will need to get their own insurance policy if their employer does not provide this benefit. Pregnancy-related medical issues and disability are covered by most of these policies.

There are a few things to keep in mind if you are considering acquiring your own short-term disability insurance, including the fact that pregnancy is considered a pre-existing condition. Due to the exclusionary period, most insurance companies will refuse to pay claims.

Depending on the manner of delivery, most short-term disability insurance policies provide benefits for a period ranging from six to eight weeks. Between 50% and 100% of an employee’s income is typical.

Contact an Experienced Employment Lawyer

Consult an expert employment law attorney if your employer has unlawfully refused you FMLA leave or has discriminated against you because of your pregnancy under state or federal law. An attorney can help you determine whether or not your claim has substance and what steps you should take to preserve your rights. Your treatment and injuries may be compensated if you hire a competent FMLA lawyer. At Florin Gray Bouzas Owens, LLC, we have a Tampa pregnancy discrimination lawyer who can help you.

At Florin Gray Bouzas Owens, our legal team is committed to the pursuit of justice for our clients. In the field of personal injury law, we have more than 100 years of combined experience. Unlike many other law offices, we always put the interests of our clients first and work in a unique way. Please get in touch with us as soon as possible.

Conclusion

Certain benefits, such as parental leave, are mandated for employers. You may be entitled for up to 12 weeks of unpaid time off under FLMA if your employer has 50 or more employees within 75 miles of the office and you work in the private sector. If you work for the government in Florida, you are also entitled to six months of unpaid leave.