Family Medical Leave Act requires 12 weeks of unpaid leave after you give birth. However, there are some requirements of FMLA for both your employer and you. Although some states extend the flexibility of FMLA, only a handful of states lower the firm-size threshold which is 50 employees federally.
As of 2020, the District of Columbia passed a law that makes the FMLA eligibility requirements easier by lowering the firm-size threshold to 10. However, federal requirements remain the same for most other states. Before you go on leave, it’s better to consult someone in your state’s Department of Labor to have additional information.
In general, the biggest requirement for FMLA is that the company you’re working at must have more than 50 employees within 75 miles of your workplace. Otherwise, your company is exempt from the FMLA and therefore, you can’t get the benefits. Other requirements include:
- You must have worked for your employer for more than 25 hours a week for 50 weeks.
- If you and your partner are working in the same company, you both are entitled to 12 weeks of maternity leave, not 12 weeks each.
- If you’re in the top 10% of wage earners in the company, your employer can give a notice that your absence would cause financial harm to the company. So your employer isn’t required to allow you for 12 weeks of leave or keep your job open for you.
- Your employer may require that the time of paid maternity leave count toward the 12 weeks allotted under the Family Medical Leave Act if your employer is offering paid maternity leave.
- You can use your 12-week maternity leave whenever during the first year after the child’s birth. So you don’t have to use all of the 12-weeks all at once as long as your employer agrees.
For more information on FMLA for Maternity Leave in 2020, visit the Department of Labor from the link below. You can also get the necessary forms for your leave below.