Updated at: 25-08-2022 - By: Sienna Lewis

What are a woman’s postpartum rights in Florida? Quite a few Florida mothers of newborns wonder the same thing. To assist with questions like these, we have compiled a manual.

Florida does not have any regulations that safeguard new parents from losing their jobs or benefits.

The only federal protections available to private sector workers in this case are protections against pregnancy discrimination under Title VII and family leave protections under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

How Long is Maternity Leave in Florida Available?

The law mandates a maternity leave period of at least twelve weeks. The number of vacation days may differ from one company to another. When it comes to your paid time off, you have several alternatives. Paid time off may be available to employees in certain situations, such as when they need time off due to a family member’s illness.

How Long Is Maternity Leave in Florida - Krostrade

Eligibility For The Paid Maternity Leave Florida:

  • Employees are not eligible for FMLA leave unless they have been with the company for at least 12 months (Federal Family and Medical Leave Act).
  • One thousand two hundred and fifty hours of work experience is required of employees in businesses and other organizations.
  • Employees are working both at the company’s headquarters and in the surrounding area (up to 50 miles away).

All employees who meet the aforementioned criteria are entitled to employer-provided paid time off.

Pregnancy Discrimination Act?

Under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, an employer is prohibited from taking adverse action against an employee because of her or his pregnancy. The new female hire should be treated no differently than any other member of the staff. Pregnancy-related issues are covered by sick leave and disability benefits if they are provided.


Family Medical Leave Act allows employees in private and governmental sectors to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave to care for a newborn or adopted kid. However, if you want the protections of this law for your babysitting services, your employer must have at least 50 employees within 75 miles.

The United States is the only developed country where paid maternity leave is not mandated at the national level. Only in the states of California and New Jersey do employers have a legal obligation to provide leave to expectant moms and mothers who have just given birth.

In Florida, parents who need some alone time because of their children’s absence from school must rely on sick days.

Family and Medical Leave

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) allows qualified workers to take up to 12 weeks of leave per year to care for a seriously ill family member, a newborn child, or for other reasons. Paid leave (such as sick or vacation time) that has been accrued can be utilized to offset the cost of unpaid FMLA leave. After a leave of absence ends, the employee must return to their previous employment in order to be reinstated. Furthermore, the employee is entitled to continue to participate in group health insurance even while on leave.

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.

How Much Leave is Available

Many businesses may choose to ignore the requirements of the FMLA. Companies with 50 or more employees for a continuous period of at least 20 weeks in the prior year are exempt from this regulation. The rule does not apply to small firms.

Women only have access to FMLA benefits for pregnancy-related reasons. If a pregnant woman experiences complications or becomes disabled throughout her pregnancy, she may be eligible for leave to care for a sick family member. Both fathers and mothers can take use of paternity leave; in fact, the law was enacted with the hope that more fathers would take time off to care for their children.

Only 12 weeks of parental leave can be used by couples who work for the same company and are married to one other. (Children from single parents are not subject to this rule.) On the other hand, medical leave is counted separately from ordinary absences. 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 can take as much as six weeks off at a time for vacation.

Maternity Leave in Florida: Frequently Asked Questions

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Married couples who both work for the same company are limited to taking a total of 12 weeks of parental leave. (Parents who haven’t tied the knot are excluded from this rule.) However, time away from work for medical reasons is counted separately. If a woman takes four weeks of leave during pregnancy, the couple will have a total of 12 weeks to divide parental leave between them. Because she has already used up her four weeks of paid parental leave, a woman can only take two additional weeks of leave. They can take as much as six weeks off at once if they like.

Procedure To Apply For The Paid Maternity Leave Florida:

There are a number of criteria that must be met before maternity leave benefits can be paid out. This is a summary of the requirements for maternity leave. The following is a detailed explanation of the process of requesting maternity leave when you are pregnant.

  • Within one month of the scheduled meeting, the employee must submit a formal request in writing to the appropriate management.
  • An official communicates the company’s maternity leave policy after validating the letter’s legitimacy.
  • You must notify the company of the pay amount, your job duties, and other details before beginning your paid maternity leave.
  • If your company or organization grants you leave during your pregnancy, the amount of time you need to take off will be specified in your letter of request.

Planning for a pregnancy includes thinking about a woman’s access to paid maternity leave. This type of parental leave is provided to guarantee the wellbeing of both the mother and the kid. A sufficient sum has been amassed to guarantee all employees receive paid maternity leave. Only in the later stages of pregnancy can doctors give a few weeks of absence. This kind of leave is helpful to ensure a healthy and safe pregnancy.

What does the FMLA leave cover?

The Family and Medical Leave Act protects you and your loved ones. Coverage begins at birth and continues for up to a year after a child is placed for adoption, protecting expectant mothers from financial hardship and giving adoptive parents peace of mind.

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?

One additional year of parental leave may be taken by parents who both work for the same employer.

When both parents are employed by the same company and in a marriage, the rules might be even more perplexing because only one parent can take a leave of absence at any given time. In the event of a serious health problem, it may be impossible for you to hold down any kind of employment.

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

In accordance with the FMLA, employees have a duty to provide advance notice to their employers of the following situations: A worker must provide reasonable cause for their absence in order to be granted leave.

Unless exceptional circumstances apply, you should offer your employer at least 30 days’ notice (two business days’ notice is preferred).

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

The Family and Medical Leave Act mandates that companies give new parents up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave per birth.

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

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. An employee’s eligibility for FMLA benefits may be compromised if she informs her employer that she will not be returning to work.

Can I lose my job for taking FMLA to leave?

It’s important for businesses to know they are not obligated to keep providing benefits to employees they lay off during the grace period of 12 weeks. If the employee gives notice that she will not be returning to work, for example, it may be difficult for her to receive FMLA benefits.

The federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) protects expecting women from workplace punishment if they need to take time off due to a medical condition.

Therefore, companies cannot fire workers who use FMLA leave; instead, they must discipline them by lowering their hours or raising their pay. For this reason alone, I think it’s crucial that any pregnant woman considering an abortion consult with an attorney beforehand.


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

Florida residents who are having a child or have just adopted a kid may be eligible for leave under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). The Pregnancy Discrimination Act protects workers against discrimination and retaliation based on their pregnancy (PDA).

Women who qualify for parental leave under this rule can take up to 12 weeks off work each year to care for themselves or their newborn. While an employee on FMLA leave is not entitled to receive pay, they are allowed to use accrued paid time off in the form of personal days, sick days, or vacation days.

Employers with 50 or more workers are required to have used the FMLA for at least 20 weeks in the current or prior year. Children of any kind are covered by FMLA; this includes your biological, adopted, and foster kids.

It is possible for workers to take up to 12 weeks of leave per leave year. A pregnant worker is eligible for five days of leave for doctor’s appointments, but she will only have nine weeks of FMLA leave to spend if she is unable to work for the last two weeks of her pregnancy.

An employee can use their Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave for prenatal care if they are unable to work because of a medical condition. FLMA is also useful for treating complications during pregnancy or labor.

If the employer agrees, a pregnant worker can take FMLA leave in increments.

After an employee’s leave of absence ends, they are entitled to return to their previous work and continue receiving their group health insurance.

This means that neither federal law nor Florida law mandates wage replacement, and the state statute in Florida does not expand or otherwise alter eligibility under federal law. Therefore, in Florida, unpaid leave could run from 12 weeks to indefinitely.

Am I Eligible for FMLA?

There are four conditions that must be met before an employee can apply for FMLA leave. All workers should:

  1. To be employed by a covered employer;
  2. An employee must have worked for the company for at least a year prior to the beginning of FMLA leave.
  3. The employee must have worked for the company for at least 12 months before to the start of the FMLA leave; and
  4. An employee must be working at a place with at least 50 other employees within 75 miles of their current location in order to qualify for leave.

If the pregnant lady is unable to care for herself owing to pregnancy-related issues, her husband is eligible to take FMLA leave to care for her.

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

To comply with FMLA regulations, employees must submit leave requests 30 days in advance. Employees who are entitled to FMLA leave may be asked to justify their absence from work.

Where the need arises suddenly, such as when there is a problem before the baby is born, notification must be made “as quickly as feasible.” Two business days is the average turnaround time.

To be eligible for FMLA leave, the employee must give notice within two days of returning to work.

How Does the Pregnancy Discrimination Act Work?

The federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) prohibits discrimination based on pregnancy in all areas of work, including but not limited to: hiring and firing, pay and job assignments and promotions, layoffs, training, fringe benefits, and health insurance.

Florida Pregnancy Laws: Your Pregnancy & Maternity Rights in Florida

However, if an employer currently grants temporary disability leave, it must also grant the same leave to employees who are pregnant, even though the Pregnancy Discrimination Act does not require firms to provide pregnancy or parental leave.

Does the Florida Human Rights Act Provide Pregnancy Leave?

The Florida Human Rights Act prohibits all forms of discrimination in the workplace, including those based on a person’s marital or sexual orientation. Anti-pregnancy discrimination provisions were added to this law in 2015.

Employers are prohibited from treating pregnant women differently in terms of pay, benefits, or working conditions or privileges. According to federal law, an expecting woman cannot be discriminated against in her job search or in her employment.

The Fair Housing Rights Act applies to businesses with 15 or more employees.

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

The “Florida Family Leave Act,” proposed in late 2019, would allow employees who have been with their employer for at least 18 months to take up to three months of paid family leave after the birth or adoption of a child.

Accordingly, in March of this year, the Senate version died in the Commerce and Tourism Subcommittee, while the House version perished in the Business and Professions Committee.

Can I Get Short-Term Disability For Maternity Leave?

Legally, Florida does not require employers to provide short-term disability compensation to workers who are temporarily unable to work due to illness or accident. Florida also does not offer its residents a state-sponsored short-term disability program.

There are businesses in Florida that provide short-term disability insurance, which helps employees keep some of their income even if they need to miss work due to a sickness or injury. If their workplace does not offer this perk, expectant employees will need to find another means of coverage. Most of these insurance include protection for medical expenses and lost wages incurred because of complications during pregnancy.

Keep in mind that pregnancy is a pre-existing condition when shopping for short-term disability insurance on your own. Insurance companies typically won’t cover medical expenses that occur within the exclusionary period.

Short-term disability insurance typically pays out for a period of six to eight weeks, though this might vary by policy and method of delivery. A common range for an employee’s share of company profits is between 50% and 100%.

Contact an Experienced Employment Lawyer

If your employer has wrongfully denied you FMLA leave or discriminated against you because of your pregnancy in violation of state or federal law, you should seek the advice of an experienced employment law attorney. A lawyer can advise you on the viability of your claim and the measures you need to take to protect your interests. If you contact an experienced FMLA lawyer, you may be able to recover financial compensation for medical expenses and other losses. Florin Gray Bouzas Owens, LLC is a pregnancy discrimination attorney in Tampa who can help you.

Our legal team at Florin Gray Bouzas Owens is dedicated to fighting for our clients’ rights. We have more than a century’s worth of expertise between us practicing personal injury law. Unlike many other law offices, we always put the interests of our clients first and work in a unique way. As soon as possible, please contact us.


Our legal team at Florin Gray Bouzas Owens is dedicated to fighting for our clients’ rights. We have more than a century’s worth of expertise between us practicing personal injury law. Unlike many other law offices, we always put the interests of our clients first and work in a unique way. As soon as possible, please contact us.