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Showing posts from July, 2007

How Maternity Leave Works

Although several young women each year take a leave of absence for the birth of a child, the actual mechanics of "maternity leave" are probably not well understood. A couple of times each year someone, usually in leadership, complains that we're not sufficiently "family friendly" in our policies. It may be a good time to review the issues and policies surrounding these types of leaves of absence and point out what benefits are and aren't available to women seeking maternity leaves. Although maternity leave is a common phrase, there actually is no such thing as a separate or distinct leave of absence for the birth of a child. These disappeared after the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978, which in all good intention was enacted to provide better job protection to expectant and new mothers. The law made it illegal to treat pregnant workers differently than any other worker medically unable to work. The unintended consequence, however, was that companies&