Family and Medical Leave Act: Help for Disability Leave and Pregnancy Leave
North Dallas Employment Attorney Explains FMLA Guidelines and Employee Leave
Maternity leave and disability leave are important issues for any employee. Both Texas employment law and federal law gives employees certain rights regarding maternity and disability leave. Most employees do not have the right to extensive amounts of fully paid maternity or disability leave. However, many employees can take at least some amount of unpaid leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). This applies if they have disabling medical conditions, including pregnancy.
If your employer denied you the right to take maternity or disability leave, or if you have received unfair workplace retaliation from your employer due to taking leave, you may have a discrimination claim against your employer. Do you need more information about your rights to maternity and disability leave? If so, then consult with an Allen employment attorney from the Law Offices of Dan A. Atkerson. We offer advice about Texas employment laws, including issues of gender discrimination or disability discrimination in the workplace.
Disability and Maternity Leave under the Family Medical Leave Act
The Family and Medical Leave Act is a federal law. It provides employees with certain rights to both pregnancy and medical leave. Under FMLA guidelines, covered employers must provide workers with up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for pregnancy, childbirth, serious medical conditions and illnesses in immediate family members.
Not all employers are subject to the Family and Medical Leave Act. However, the FMLA does provide many employees with at least some time off for pregnancy, childbirth and medical conditions. North Texas employers are also free to provide employees with additional benefits beyond those included in FMLA guidelines. Learn more about the benefits of the Family and Medical Leave Act and FMLA eligibility by following the link.
Maternity Leave and Pregnancy Disability Leave in Texas
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act is another federal anti-discrimination law that confers some rights regarding maternity leave. It prohibits gender discrimination in employment. Title VII does not require that an employer allow an employee any type of maternity leave or create job protections for maternity leave. However, it does require that an employer treat an employee who has taken paternity leave or maternity leave the same as an employee who has taken leave for another medical condition.
For example, let’s say that an employee is entitled to take two weeks of paid leave for a medical condition such as a broken bone. Then, any other employee may be entitled to take two weeks of paid leave during or after pregnancy. In each situation, the employer’s policy on leave time governs the ability of the employee to return to his or her current job position after taking pregnancy leave.
Furthermore, Title VII also contains the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. This prohibits employers from basing any employment decisions on an employee’s pregnancy. Rather, an employer must treat an employee who is pregnant or has given birth the same as any other employee. Anyone who faced gender discrimination for their pregnancy should speak with an employment attorney about legal options.
Texas Disability Leave Laws
As is the case with maternity leave, a Dallas employer’s policies control the rights for taking disability leave. These policies vary widely from one North Texas employer to the next. While some employers may provide some paid medical leave and even short-term disability benefits, other employers provide none. However, federal disability laws, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, prevent an employer from practicing disability discrimination. The ADA also requires employers who employ 15 or more employees for 20 weeks or more per year to provide reasonable accommodations for employees with disabilities.
Disability discrimination in the workplace unfortunately does happen, but an experienced North Dallas employment attorney will take on employers for violating the rights of employees.