Many expectant mothers may not be clear about whether they are entitled to maternity leave, and if so, whether that leave will be paid or not. Also, it is important for New Jersey employers to know the law concerning medical leave, so they do not unintentionally deny an employee his or her rights under state and federal employment laws. Whether you are a New Jersey employee who has been denied maternity leave to which you are entitled, or an employer facing a Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) claim, an experienced Monmouth County business attorney can help you understand and protect your legal rights.
Employee Rights Under FMLA
Under the Family Medical Leave Act, employers with 50 or more employees are required to provide up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave per year to employees. FMLA leave can be used for:
- Prenatal care
- Complications from a pregnancy that are considered a serious health condition
- Parental leave by either parent following the birth or adoption of a child
As stated above, FMLA leave is unpaid. If you are concerned your rights under the Family Medical Leave Act have been violated, or if an employee has brought an FMLA claim against you, let a qualified Monmouth County business lawyer fight for you.
Employee Rights Under New Jersey Law
In New Jersey, employees are not only entitled to unpaid leave under the Family Medical Leave Act, state law also allows for temporary disability insurance benefits to be paid to employees for medical reasons including pregnancy and childbirth. To apply for these benefits, you must file a claim with the Department of Labor and Workforce Development after your doctor has certified you are temporarily disabled and unable to work and you have actually stopped working. Benefits are usually available for up to four weeks before your expected delivery date and up to six weeks after your actual delivery date. If your doctor certifies you are disabled for a longer period of time, your benefits may be extended. You may be entitled to extended benefits if you:
- Experience pregnancy complications
- Deliver by c-section
- Have another, simultaneous disability
- Are physically unable to perform the duties of your regular job
Understanding your rights under FMLA and other employment laws can be tricky, and sometimes employers make mistakes and find themselves at the receiving end of an employment lawsuit. If you are an employee whose rights have been violated or an employer involved in a discrimination or harassment claim, contact a dedicated Monmouth County business attorney today to ensure your rights are protected.