Can my employer deny me maternity leave?
Not if your employer has more than 3 employees. Employers in Connecticut with more than 3 employees are covered by the Connecticut Fair Employment Practices Act, under which employers must provide their employees with a “reasonable” unpaid maternity leave. “Reasonable,” in this context, means at least 6-8 weeks.
Childbirth, or the placement of a child in an adoption, is also covered by the Connecticut and Federal Family and Medical Leave Act. You can take up to 16 weeks of unpaid leave under the Connecticut law in a two year period, and this law covers employers with 75 or more employees when you have worked at least 1,000 hours in the past year. The Federal FMLA applies to employers that have more than 50 employees in a 75-mile radius and provides 12 weeks of unpaid leave in a year. You must have worked 1,250 hours in the year before taking leave for the federal FMLA to apply.
If you believe that you have been unlawfully denied maternity leave under any of these laws, contact the Hayber, McKenna & Dinsmore to discuss your situation.