What the law requires
The medical leave law, part of the 1993 Family And Medical Leave Act that was designed to support families, only requires that 12 weeks of unpaid maternity leave be granted to pregnant women working for companies that have 50 or more employees. Some states, including California and New Jersey, have passed laws establishing partial paid maternity leave for their pregnant residents.
Meanwhile, Congress has been asked by President Barack Obama to approve $23 million toward establishing employee-paid state disability funds to help cover maternity leave costs. Given the state of the nation’s economy it is not a stretch to assume that more women would take advantage of the offered maternity leave if it were at least partially paid.
What about you? If you have been pregnant while working, did you take maternity leave? If considering becoming pregnant, would you take a maternity leave? Does your decision depend on whether or not it is a paid leave?