When it comes to moms in the workplace, employment law works to protect the mother from unfair discrimination. Being a mother means that a woman has an obligation to her family as well as to her job. During pregnancy, the obligation is also to herself so she can do what is best for her unborn child. The Family and Medical Leave Act, or FMLA, was created to allow a woman (or man), to be there for their family when they are needed the most.

Pregnancy

While a company can disguise termination in a number of ways, the Family and Medical Leave Act prohibits them from firing a woman solely on the basis of pregnancy. Most women work well into their third trimester, some right up until the birth of the child. FMLA allows for an extended period of time to be taken off of work if complications arise during the pregnancy.

Maternity Leave

Maternity leave can be used after the birth of a child or after an adoption has been completed and the child is moved into the home. This type of leave is allowed so that the mother can recover from the birth of the child. It also gives the mother and child time to bond. FMLA is the part of employment law that this type of leave falls under. Leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act can apply to both the mother and the father, especially if the mother or child requires extensive medical care after birth.

Family Concerns

When a child or family member is seriously ill, it can be a difficult experience for the entire family. Taking an extended leave of absence may be necessary especially if there is no one else to care for the child or family member. Employment laws such as the Family and Medical Leave Act allow individuals to take time off of work as needed if a family member is experiencing a health crisis. Health concerns and issues may include:

At-risk pregnancy

Pregnancy

Maternity leave

Hospitalization of a loved one

Terminal illness

Prolonged Treatment and recovery

Emergency situations also apply as possible reasons for a person to request time off.

Employment law, especially laws and acts like the Family and Medical Leave Act, are put in place to protect a mother’s (or father’s) right to be with their child during an illness or other health emergencies. Knowing and understanding how these laws apply to you will help you work with your employer if an incident arises that requires you to be with your family.