Women across the globe are provided with a special benefit during and after their pregnancy. The benefit is known as Maternity leave in which they get paid the entire sum, while not working for the company. This is to ensure that the mother takes enough care of herself and her child.
Some employers even ask the female employee to resign from her post when she asks for the leave owing to her pregnancy. Anything that discriminates against women on this ground is unlawful and must be taken seriously. But before you move on any further, you need to understand what exactly maternity leave is.
What is Maternity Leave
This is the period for which a woman stays away from any professional activity because either she is about to or just became a mother. It can be referred to family leave, family medical leave, and pregnancy leave. Unless someone has been through this stage, the things are a little translucent.
The duration of the leave varies with the state and also the way a female becomes a mother. Some companies have the policy not to pay any or half the original sum of money that they pay when an employee is on duty. Some even pay the whole amount to for the entire term of the leave.
Here’s what you can do if denied the leave
Pregnancy and Maternity leave laws vary from state to state. These laws reflect the requirements for women to get the benefit and the benefits that they can avail during that period. Employers, however, sometimes disapprove the application for the same. If your employer does this to you, remember the points you are going to read to make sure your rights are secured.
Be Calm at the beginning
If your application for the maternity benefit gets rejected by your employer, don’t lose the temper right away. You can seek the matter out gently. Politely take the case to the HR Department of the company. More often than not, HR representatives can clear up the issue in no time.
Even if it does not work, keep patience in your mind. Make your employer aware of the maternity leave laws that every woman is entitled to, during pregnancy and after childbirth.
Take it to the Labor Department
Now that your employer is not ready to understand anything politely, you must move a step further to let him your rights. Take the matter to the labor department of the respective state. Every state has its labor department. Before taking this step, you must make sure that you fulfill the requirements to get the benefit.
The laws say that the company shall have a minimum number of employees to be taken to the legal battleground. Some other factors are also defined in the laws which you must fulfill to receive the benefit from your employer when in need.
Seek Legal Help
In case you still get denied for the leave even after the involvement of the labor department, the time has come to take the company to the courtroom. But you must have the evidence you fulfill the necessary terms and were indeed denied the maternity leave by your employer. To have all this with you, take every step on papers so that you do not run out of proofs against the company.
You need an advocate to represent your matter in the court. Some lawyers don’t demand any fees until the judgment comes in your favor in the end. When fighting a case legally, you should know that it takes time to be resolved, and hence, you must be patient enough for the same.
You should know that according to the laws of some states, the men are also eligible to avail this benefit for a specific term in the first year of welcoming a new child in the family. Not just by the laws, but these parameters vary with every company out there.
You can take the leave at any time in that period. But you must consider taking it later on so that you get enough time to recover from afterwards. If your employer rejects your plea to get the leave, follow the steps given above to get your application approved. Take care, and stay fit.