Pregnancy and Maternity Leave Laws - Barrett & Farahany

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Pregnancy and Maternity Leave Laws

Pregnancy and Maternity Leave Laws

Two of the most notable laws covering pregnancy and maternity leave are the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) of 1978 and the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

While the details of the protections provided by these laws will be discussed in more detail below, don’t hesitate to contact the trusted Atlanta pregnancy discrimination lawyers at the Law Firm of Barrett & Farahany, LLP, LLP if you believe that you have been the target of an employer’s pregnancy discrimination.

The Family and Medical Leave Act

Here’s a look at pregnancy and maternity leave laws. For help standing up to employers who violate these laws, contact our Atlanta pregnancy discrimination lawyers.

The provisions of the FMLA apply to employers with at least 50 employees who work within a 75-mile radius of the workplace. According to the provisions that specifically apply to maternity leave, women can take up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave during any 12-month period following the birth of a baby (or the adoption of a child) as long as they:

  • Have worked for a qualifying company for at least one year
  • Work at least 25 hours in a given week.

Here, it’s important to note that, under the terms of the FMLA:

  • Maternity leave can be taken all at once, or the 12 weeks can be broken up over the course of the year during which the pregnancy or birth occurs.
  • Women who take maternity leave must be restored to the same or an equivalent position with the same benefits upon returning from this leave.
  • Adopting a child
  • Men can also take unpaid leave for the birth or adoption of a child.

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act

Applying to employers with at least 15 employees, the PDA permits disabled employees – including employees disabled by pregnancy – to take disability leave or leave without pay. When it comes to pregnancy and maternity leave, this federal law also prevents employers from:

  • Forcing women to take mandatory maternity leave
  • Denying pregnant women the same health, disability and/or sick leave benefits as are provided to employees with other medical conditions
  • Denying women the right to return to the same or a similar job when returning from pregnancy leave (In other words, the PDA grants women a certain level of job security when they take maternity leave.)
  • Singling out pregnant or recently pregnant women for special procedures to determine their ability to return to work after taking maternity leave

Atlanta Pregnancy Discrimination Lawyers at the Law Firm of Barrett & Farahany, LLP

Have you been the target of an employer’s violation of pregnancy and maternity leave laws? If so, you can turn to the experienced Atlanta pregnancy discrimination lawyers at the Law Firm of Barrett & Farahany, LLP, LLP for experienced help pursuing justice.

At Barrett & Farahany, LLP, we believe in helping people and protecting their rights, which is why our attorneys provide personalized, responsive legal service while working diligently to help our clients obtain the compensation and justice they deserve.


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Barrett & Farahany

Georgia Office

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Atlanta, GA 30326

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Birmingham, AL 35203

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