The Family and Medical Leave Act is the first and only federal law that addresses the balance between jobs and family that workers in Wisconsin and across the U.S. must maintain. The 12 weeks of unpaid leave guaranteed by the act has been used more than 200 million times since being passed. Reasons for taking leave vary, including recovering from a serious illness, caring for a loved one who is ill or receiving maternity or paternity leave.
Wisconsin workplace pregnancy discrimination laws have the potential to be effected by a case that is headed for the U.S. Supreme Court. A woman's lawsuit against UPS for placing her on unpaid leave instead of putting her on light duty during her pregnancy will be heard by the court, according to reports.
In Wisconsin, it is illegal to fire or withhold benefits from an employee due to a pregnancy. The federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act also forbids an employer from discriminating against a pregnant employee in regards to pay, job assignments or training opportunities. If an employee is unable to perform job duties temporarily due to a pregnancy, the employer is obligated to treat that employee like any other temporarily disabled employee.
Wisconsin employers and employees may want to note that 14 different jurisdictions in the United States now have requirements that specifically address accommodations that must be made in the workplace for pregnant workers. Some of the requirements are at the local level, and others cover all employers in the state. Some requirements are imposed on employers with as few as one employee, and others put requirements on employers with a larger number of workers.
2013 signified the twenty-year anniversary of the Family and Medical Leave Act in the United States. The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) of 1993 mandates that covered employers offer as many as 12 weeks of unpaid leave without jeopardizing the job status of eligible employees for various family and individual medical situations. These medical situations include pregnancy and care for a newborn, placement with the employee of a child for adoption or foster care, care for an immediate family member with a serious health condition and the employee's own serious health condition. Passing the law in 1993 was a victory for many who wanted to protect the welfare of American families. Wisconsin families and individuals continue the effort to provide job security in a time of need; 2014 may mark a new milestone for the law if Congress takes action.
A major corporation has been accused of gender discrimination under basic FMLA laws. In Wisconsin and elsewhere, the Family and Medical Leave Act applies to all public agencies, all public and private elementary and secondary schools, and companies with 50 or more employees. Recently, a CNN journalist has accused Time Warner of committing FMLA-related gender discrimination.
Many employers violate the Family Medical Leave Act. No employee should fear for their job after going on extended leave. The Wisconsin Family and Medical Leave Act mandates that covered employers offer as many as eight weeks of unpaid leave without jeopardizing the job status of eligible employees for various family and individual medical situations. Recently, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) has planned to propose new legislation that will amend the FMLA to ensure that employees ' family and medical leave rights are better preserved.
In this day and age, it is hard to believe that there are still businesses and companies that think it is appropriate to discriminate against pregnant women. Sadly, there are, as evidence by a recent case in which a Milwaukee medical-staffing agency had to pay a $148,000 fine to resolve a pregnancy discrimination lawsuit.
Over the last two posts we have discussed taking time under the Family Medical Leave Act for maternity leave and how to approach and inform your employer of your leave when the time comes. In this post we will finish up that conversation. Last time, we left off on the use of vacation or sick days to expand your unpaid leave time.
Last time, we partly discussed how to inform your boss about your maternity leave time under the Family Medical Leave Act. Under the Family Medical Leave Act, eligible employees may take up to 12 weeks of unpaid time for maternity leave and the law also guarantees the return of your position or a similar position after the completion of your leave. In this post, we will continue to talk about how to inform your employer of your maternity leave.