Maternity Leave Attorney
Maternity leave is designed to allow mothers to bond with their baby or adopted child and heal following childbirth.
Unfortunately, some employers may deny employees their full leave or demote them upon their return to work.
If you live in Plano, Frisco, or another community near Allen, TX, attorney Dan A. Atkerson can protect your rights and livelihood.
Maternity Leave: The Basics
The time a mother is allowed to take off work to care for a newborn or newly adopted child is referred to as pregnancy leave, parental leave, or maternity leave. The federal law that protects eligible employees in this regard is referred to as the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
Do You Qualify? Am I Eligible for Maternity Leave?
While the FMLA is valuable, maternity leave rights are not automatically applied to every worker. To qualify for the right to be absent from work after the birth or adoption of a child, you must:
- Work at a company with at least 50 employees within a 75-mile radius
- Have been employed by your employer for at least 12 months
- Have logged at least 1,250 hours of work during your 12 months with your employer prior to taking maternity leave
Determining whether you qualify for leave takes the legal know-how of a qualified lawyer. Mr. Atkerson is known for handling diverse employment law claims for clients from Frisco, Plano, Dallas, and surrounding communities. He is always available to look over your case and outline your options.
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Have You Been Punished for Taking Maternity Leave? Contact Our Dallas Area Law Firm Today
If you have been denied your rights under federal law to take time off work to care for your child, or if you have been demoted or fired for taking FMLA leave, attorney Dan A. Atkerson can help.
Mr. Atkerson founded his firm in 2001, after 17 years of practice as an attorney in Texas. Our office is conveniently located just west of Allen on the North Central Expressway east of Highway 121. We are proud to serve workers in the greater Frisco, Plano, and Dallas area. We patiently listen to your concerns, specifically tailor your case to your needs rather than treat you like a number, and are sympathetic to your situation.
To learn more about your rights as an employee, contact our law firm online. You can also set up a consultation by phone.
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Mr. Atkerson can hold employers accountable if they disregard the rights of Texas employees.
What Rights Do Mothers in Texas Have?
When an employee has just given birth to a child or has adopted a child and takes time off work to care for that child, certain legal rights are granted to that employee. There are federal laws in place which protect your right to step back from your job for a set period in these situations, and we have familiarity with those laws and how they can apply to your case.
When an employee is eligible for maternity leave, the FMLA prohibits the employer from preventing that employee from taking medical leave. If an employer fails to abide by this federal law, an employee should seek advice from a lawyer to assert their rights.
Identifying Pregnancy Discrimination
Speak With a Lawyer Who Will Listen to You Contact the Law Offices of Dan A. Atkerson
Mr. Atkerson is committed to workers throughout the state of Texas. Our team can help fight to get you your maternity leave or to hold your employer accountable for workplace discrimination and retaliation. We stand with workers in the greater Dallas, Frisco, and Plano area. We can provide a complimentary case evaluation and help you understand your rights and protections under federal and Texas state law. To discuss your case, contact our legal practice online. You can also reach our law firm in Allen by phone.
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Is Pregnancy or the Need to Care for a Child Considered a Disability?
In some states, the legal structure in place when a mother takes leave to care for a child is combined with disability rights. The idea is that when a parent takes off time from their job, that time off is not solely governed by the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) but rather is part of a larger legal right to take time off work — that of disability leave.
A woman who experiences medical issues as a result of pregnancy or childbirth that affect her ability to work may be given the same treatment as a temporarily disabled employee. This may include changes in work assignments, lighter duties at work, and even unpaid leave. This is covered in the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) of 1978.
The Bigger Picture
The exact terminology is less important than the rights granted to an employee under either type of leave taken. Concepts of both maternity leave and disability leave come into play when a parent takes time off after pregnancy and childbirth or adoption. Most importantly, a parent needs to seek competent legal assistance when leave of any type has been wrongfully denied.
Our law firm is familiar with federal and Texas state laws regarding unpaid leave from work and can guide you through your legal options.
Maternity Leave FAQs Answers to Common Questions
Do I need a doctor's note for maternity leave?While not always necessary, your employer may ask for medical certification before granting you leave. The note from your doctor would need to state that taking leave is medically necessary. This is not an unreasonable request.
When can I go on maternity leave?
The earliest an expectant mother can take maternity leave is 11 weeks before her due date (approximately 29 weeks into pregnancy). Keep in mind that some expectant mothers work up until their due date. For women who go into labor before they request leave, their maternity leave would begin on the date they go into labor.
Your ideal time to take leave can vary based on your health situation and the needs of your unborn child or children.
How do I prove pregnancy discrimination over maternity leave?To prove employment discrimination, you must demonstrate that you were treated differently than other employees in a similar position, and that this difference in treatment came as a result of taking parental leave. This includes any direct mention of your pregnancy or parental leave by your employer. You may also have circumstantial evidence that your employer deviated from their normal policies due to your use of parental leave.
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