Just in time for Mother’s Day (how apropos), we were very interested to read about last week’s announcement by Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer that the technology powerhouse would be increasing the parental leave it offers to its employees.
Mayer, a mother herself, made this announcement seven months after giving birth to her baby boy back in September of 2012, and two months after facing sharp criticism for ending Yahoo’s work-from-home policy.
Now, Yahoo will be offering up 16 weeks of paid maternity leave to new mothers, as well as a $500 bonus to help with costs such as diapers and baby clothes. Fathers benefit from Yahoo’s new policy as well, with eight weeks of paid leave.
It’s the paid nature of Yahoo’s maternity leave policy that is important – currently, for a company of that size, they would be obligated under the federally mandated Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to provide a new parent with up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave, still guaranteeing the parent a job at a similar level when s/he returns to work. So the 16 weeks offered by Yahoo is not only a month longer than the FMLA requires, but it also pays an employee’s salary during the leave time.
If you are a new parent, or if a baby is in your immediate or long-term future, you should know how the FMLA laws affect you, and what rights you have under this law. Here is some more information about how the Family Medical Leave Act works to protect you:
The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) protects employees from discrimination. If you have been denied a leave of absence or have been terminated because of a medical leave, maternity leave, paternity leave, or the serious health condition of a family member, you may have a remedy under the Family Medical Leave Act. An employee is eligible for and must be granted FMLA leave after he has been employed by the employer for a total of 12 or more months, and has worked (not including paid time off such as sick leave or vacation) at least 1,250 hours in the year preceding the requested leave of absence.
An employee’s leave of absence qualifies as FMLA leave when It is taken for any of the following reasons:
- The employee’s serious health condition
- To care for the employee’s spouse, child, or parent who has a serious health condition; or
- For the birth of a child, or the placement of a child for adoption or foster care
If you or a loved one have suffered an adverse employment action due to a medical leave, maternity leave, or serious health condition, you may have a case under the FMLA. Turner & Turner is here to help.
Happy Mother’s Day!