There are a few laws that protect pregnant employees in Connecticut and Massachusetts.
Whether you work in Connecticut or Massachusetts, you may be entitled to unpaid leave under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). The FMLA requires employers with fifty or more employees to provide eligible employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave in the year after the birth of a child. If your employer has more than fifty employees, you are eligible for leave under the FMLA provided that you have worked for your employer for at least twelve months and have worked at least 1,250 hours during the year prior to the leave.
Connecticut workers may also be entitled to leave under the Connecticut FMLA. This applies to companies with 75 or more employees, excluding state and local government employers. There is no minimum hours requirement, but you must have been employed with the company for at least 12 months. If you are eligible, you are entitled to up to 16 weeks of unpaid leave.
Under the Connecticut Fair Employment Practices Act, an employer with three or more employees is required to “a reasonable leave of absence for disability resulting from her pregnancy…” The statute does not define the term “reasonable,” but generally, four to eight weeks is considered to be a reasonable pregnancy leave.
If you work in Massachusetts, you might be covered by the Massachusetts Maternity Leave Act. That law applies to employers with six or more employees. In order to qualify, you must be a full-time worker, and have been employed past the employer’s probationary period, or for at least 3 months. If qualified, you are entitled to eight weeks of parental leave. In some situations, this can be combined with FMLA leave for a total of 20 weeks of leave.
Whether you are entitled to leave and the length of leave varies, depending on how many employees your employer has, the state in which you work, and the length of your employment. But if you are covered under one of these laws, then your employer cannot limit your leave to less than the law requires. If you have questions feel free to contact us here.