Maternity and Paternity Leave Laws
In Texas, there is no state law that mandates employers to offer paid maternity or paternity leave to employees. However, some employers may choose to provide these benefits to their employees. Under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), eligible employees are entitled to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave.
At the Law Offices of Dan A. Atkerson, serving Allen, TX, Plano, TX, and Frisco, TX, we can help if your right to job protection while on parental leave was not upheld by your employer. Here, we discuss maternity and paternity leave laws in Texas and on a federal level so you better understand your rights.
Maternity and Paternity Leave Laws in Texas
In Texas, there is no state law that requires employers to provide maternity leave to employees. However, some employers may choose to offer maternity leave as a benefit to their employees.
Federal Maternity and Paternity Leave Laws
The federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) applies to employers with 50 or more employees and provides eligible employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for certain medical and family reasons, including the birth or adoption of a child.
To be eligible for FMLA leave, an employee must have worked for the employer for at least 12 months and have worked at least 1,250 hours during the 12-month period immediately preceding the start of the leave. FMLA leave can be taken all at once or intermittently, and the employee must be reinstated to the same or equivalent position upon return from leave.
Vacation and Sick Time
It's important to note that while FMLA provides job protection for eligible employees who take leave for qualifying reasons, it does not guarantee pay or benefits during the leave period. However, an employer may require employees to use their accrued paid time off (such as vacation or sick leave) to cover part or all of the FMLA leave period.
When to Involve an Attorney
You may want to consider hiring an attorney if you have concerns about your maternity or paternity leave rights and you believe that your employer has violated state or federal laws. Here are some situations where you may want to consult with an attorney:
- Your employer has denied your request for maternity or paternity leave, and you believe that you are entitled to it under the law.
- Your employer has retaliated against you for requesting or taking maternity or paternity leave, such as by demoting you, reducing your pay, or terminating your employment.
- You have experienced discrimination or harassment because of your pregnancy or your decision to take parental leave.
- Your employer has failed to provide reasonable accommodations for your pregnancy or childbirth, such as a modified work schedule or a private place to express breast milk.
- You have questions about your rights and options regarding maternity or paternity leave, or you are not sure whether your employer is following the law.
If there is any question in your mind about whether to hire an attorney, we encourage you to reach out to our firm today. We can provide guidance and clarity regarding your next steps.
Contact Our Practice
An attorney who specializes in employment law can help you understand your rights and options, and can represent you if you decide to file a claim or lawsuit against your employer. They can also help you negotiate with your employer to try to resolve the issue outside of court. Contact the Law Offices of Dan A. Atkerson at (214) 383-3606 or send us a message online.