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Florida Law and FMLA Requirements for Maternity and Paternity Leave

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Families experiencing the excitement of a newborn child often want to take time off in order to care for their new addition. The laws that regulate maternity and paternity leave in Florida are the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and other Florida state laws. Employees who are new parents are best served when they understand their family leave-related rights and what protections they are entitled to under the law.

Paternity and Maternity Leave Requirements

How long is maternity leave in Florida? Is it the same for paternity leave? Under the FMLA, a person is allowed to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave from their job for certain family related reasons. Becoming a new parent does qualify as one of these reasons. This means that an employee is able to leave work for a period of time and can expect their job to be waiting for them when they return. Very few states require for paid leave in these circumstances.

Employment Issues for Expecting Parents

When a parent is expecting a child, it is possible for an employer to discriminate against that person because they expect that the child’s arrival will result in missed time from work. Under federal and state law, such discrimination and/or retaliation is unacceptable. Employers cannot discriminate against employees simply because they are expecting. Pregnant moms and expecting fathers must be compensated on an equal playing field and evaluated in the same way that any employee is when applying for a job.

When Wronged by an Employer

Employers have a legal obligation to follow leave-related laws in the state of Florida. They are not allowed to:

  • cut an employee short of their allotted leave,
  • cannot let an employee go for reasons of paternity or maternity,
  • or otherwise discriminate based on maternity or paternity leave status

When an employer violates its duty to employees, action should most certainly be taken. If a violation of the duty is suspected, calling upon an experienced FMLA attorney may make all of the difference in the world. These FMLA attorneys will help to ensure that parents are able to receive all the protections that Florida law bestows upon them. They will also work to protect their client’s rights and fight for everything they justly deserve under the law. Being fired or suffering under an employer’s grasp because of maternity or paternity leave is inexcusable and employers may be held accountable for these kinds of behaviors.

If you are in Florida, contact our attorneys at Law Office of William M. Julien, P.A. for a free initial consultation.