Being a parent is a big job – and it’s not easy. It can be particularly difficult for people to balance the demands of their regular occupation with the demands that come along with being a parent. When those two things collide, parents are often forced to make difficult choices.
What kind of parental leave rights do you actually have? Here’s what you need to know:
Your experience may not be the same as the next parent’s experience
Largely, the rights that you have may depend on several different things, including whether your employer has contractually agreed to provide you with a certain amount of leave (paid or unpaid) or you have a short-term disability policy that covers the situation.
State and federal government employees, for example, have family leave policies that are different from those employees in the private sector. Or, short-term disability policies may cover you if you’re on bed rest due to pregnancy complications.
For the most part, however, most workers have to rely on the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) for their protections, since the state of Florida does not, at this time, provide for family leave benefits by law.
Under the FMLA, you are entitled to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for a number of different reasons, including:
- The birth of a child
- Adoption of a child
- The addition of a foster child to your household
- Your own serious health condition
- A serious health issue for your spouse, child or a parent
This is not gender-specific, which is important to remember if you need to take leave, for example, to help your pregnant spouse while they’re on bed rest or when your spouse is recovering from a C-section.
During this time, you can use any accrued medical leave you have through your job, and you will not lose your health insurance or other benefits (so long as you continue paying any premium portion you normally do). You are also protected from being fired, and have a right to return to your prior job or one that is equivalent in all major respects.
If you have encountered resistance from your employer regarding parental or family leave or you’ve been disciplined or terminated for asserting your rights, you can fight back.
Free Initial Consultation About FMLA Issues
If you believe that you are being terminated or discriminated against or even harassed because of your use of FMLA , call our law offices today at 561-560-5597.