These days, providing maternity leave to employees is essential. Even paternity leave, parental leave for new fathers, is becoming the norm. Though taking leave at this time is crucial for the recovery of new mothers, the development of the newborn and for the family to bond, not all employers or states recognize and grant this time to employees. If you live in Arizona and you’re considering an addition to your family, you should learn your rights and the laws of your state.
No, Arizona does not have any specific requirements sanctioning employers to grant their workers maternity leave. However surprising this news may seem, Arizona is not alone in this distinction as many states do not impose additional requirements on employers. Though the state doesn’t have any specific stipulations pertaining to parental leave, the employers are still subject to the Family and Medical Leave Act.
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FLMA) was enacted as a way to protect employees who need time to recover from a medical procedure or care for a family member. As defined by the Department of Labor, the FMLA “entitles eligible employees of covered employers to take unpaid, job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons with continuation of group health insurance coverage under the same terms and conditions as if the employee had not taken leave.” This act requires that all companies and organizations with 50 or more employees provide 12 weeks of leave to new parents if the parent has recently given birth or adopted a baby.
While parents are guaranteed time under law, it is not necessarily paid as the compensation received during this time will vary by employer. Other than this mandate, Arizona does not have any additional maternity leave laws and the FMLA does not mandate payment. Only four states in the United States have additional maternity leave laws - California, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
These states have publicly funded maternity leave programs in which employees are paid a percentage of their regular salary for a predetermined amount of time. Individual employers may elect to offer extended maternity or paternity leave and provide compensation to their employees who utilize the resource.
Though Arizonans do not have the protection of any state laws on their side, all eligible employers are required to comply with the FMLA and provide employees with the time they need for recovery after childbirth or adoption. If you feel that your employer has failed to fulfill its obligation under this law, you may file a complaint on the Department of Labor’s webpage.
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