Are You Entitled to Maternity Leave as a Nurse?
Maternity leave or family leave is a benefit that is offered to all workers in almost every affluent country. However, the US has never developed comprehensive maternity or family leave plans for its workers that help to ensure that everyone is entitled to time off to help their family through hard times or to welcome a child into a family.
While some states offer certain benefits for family or maternity leave, other states offer little to no protection to workers who don't meet certain criteria.
The lack of maternity leave or family leave benefits can leave a financial strain on them and their families during difficult times.
Sometimes, workers find themselves left choosing whether they will have to continue to work through a trying time or have to quit their jobs to spend time with their families when their family needs them the most.
Find out if you qualify for nurse’s maternity leave and apply today!
What Maternity Leave Do Nurses Qualify to Receive?
Some are entitled to nurses’ maternity leave, while others may not get the same benefits. Different types of nursing jobs might offer different benefits than other types of jobs.
Some states offer more benefits to their nurses than others, and certain healthcare systems will offer some paid leave that others may not offer.
Generally speaking, nurses can expect the following:
Nurses May Qualify as Federal Employees
There is the Family Medical and Leave Act (FMLA), which is a federal program that requires certain employees to get some paid family leave or medical leave, depending on their employment status (must have worked for an employer for up to 12 months - 1 year beforehand in order to be able to claim benefits and work 1,250 hours in the last year to qualify). These benefits can provide some maternity leave for nurses in certain positions.
Some States Offer Additional Leave
Certain states have more leave available to employees for family or maternity-related reasons. Other states do not offer any sort of maternity-related leave or family leave beyond what the FMLA entitles some employees to have.
Hospitals and Healthcare Systems Vary
Some benefits that come with working at certain hospitals or in certain healthcare systems or unions may provide family or medical leave to nurses that allow them to take time off to be with their family in emergency situations. Many employers offer perks and benefits that allow employees, including nurses, the personal time when they need it if they meet certain predetermined requirements.
Unionized Employees May Get More Leave Time
Whether it's paid or unpaid, sometimes unions will protect a nurse's right to have a certain amount of paid or unpaid time off. These unions usually allot so many weeks of time off per year, depending on the agreement made between the union and workers.
Per-Diem or Traveling Nurse Positions Offer Flexibility
Many per-diem nurse traveling nurse positions allow you to take time off for your family or maternity leave when you need it the most. These positions can start and end as you schedule them, allowing you time off with your family when you need to be there for them.
As there are so many types of nursing positions out there, it's hard to say whether your specific job will give you additional maternity leave or family time or not. Some nurses are eligible for more time off than others. You will need to follow up with your employer to determine exactly what time you are allowed to take off and what your eligibility in your state, job position, job type, and situation allow you to take.
Do I Qualify for the FMLA Program as a Nurse?
Some nurses may qualify for the FMLA program, while others may not. If you work in a traditional, full-time position through a union in a hospital or healthcare setting, you are likely eligible to get FMLA.
Other positions such as part-time, per-diem, and traveling nurse positions may not be eligible for family or maternity leave if their position does not offer such benefits.
If you are a full-time, unionized nurse in either a hospital or a healthcare setting and are able to get FMLA, you will have to meet the following requirements:
- The birth of a child and those who care for a newborn child within one year of birth
- The placement of a child for adoption or foster care by the employee within the last year
- To care for the employee's spouse, parent, or child with a serious illness
- A serious health condition that leaves them unable to perform essential functions of their jobs
- Any qualifying exigency arising out of the fact that the employee's spouse, son, daughter, or parent is a covered military member on "covered active duty”
The FMLA requires employers to give nurses who are eligible for the program a minimum of 6 weeks off per 12-month period of time. Your time off is allowed to be taken for any of the following reasons listed below:
- Work for a covered employer
- 1,250 hours worked during the 12 months prior to the start of the leave
- Working at a company with 50 or more employees working or within 75 miles of it
- Worked for the employer for 12 months prior to taking leave
While many nurses might be qualified to take FMLA to leave for their family, others might not be able to get the leave they need and deserve when they have a family member to care for or are welcoming a new child to the family. The nature of your position will determine a lot of the reasons whether you are eligible to take paid time off or not.
DoNotPay Can Help You Get Your Maternity Leave
If you are looking to take maternity leave or family leave from your job, you will need to notify your job of your intentions. DoNotPay can help you draft a letter with our drafting tool that will notify your employer of your intentions to take some time off.
The following are the 6 simple steps that you need to complete in order to help DoNotPay generate a letter you can use to inform your employer of the time you will need to take off:
- Tell us which state you work in (if you work in CA, NY, NJ, MA, WA, or DC, your state has a paid family leave program).
- Choose whether you want us to apply to the program for you or contact your employer with your leave request. If you want to apply for the program, we will walk you through the questions on the form and mail the application form for you.
- If you want us to contact your employer, enter your leave details, including the starting date, number of weeks of leave, and how many weeks of paid leave you are requesting (for example, you may take a 12 week leave, but only request 8 weeks of paid leave to make the request reasonable).
- Indicate whether you are the birth parent or not (birth parents have a few additional legal protections).
- Enter the name of your company and the person to address this request to.
- Select whether you want us to email the request to your employer on your behalf.
Once you complete these 6 steps above, you will receive a letter sent to your requested email address with the information in it that you need in order to take maternity or family leave.
You can give the letter to your employer so that you are able to take off the time you need to be with your family or the new child that you are welcoming into your family.
You can also check out DoNotPay’s state guides for more information:
What Else Can DoNotPay Do?
DoNotPay offers a variety of services to its users. Our goal is to help you save both time and money on things that you use in your daily life. The following are some of the benefits that we can offer and ways that we help you save money each day:
- Pay utilities
- canceling memberships
- canceling banking fees
- getting reimbursed for unwanted credit card fees
DoNotPay is here to help you and your family save as much money as possible in your daily life.