Florida – beautiful beaches, warm (OK- hot) year round, palm trees swaying in the breeze, affordable living and the people are relatively nice. Sounds like a great place to live, right? Yes, until you want to have a baby. You will find out that Florida is among the states that have NO parental leave laws or in other words, no maternity (or paternity) leave.
When I found out about the lack of maternity leave that Florida has, I felt like I was being penalized for wanting to start a family. Florida Medical Leave Act (FMLA) gives some employees 12 unpaid weeks off and protects her position for that time but it is still UNPAID. UNPAID meaning not a dime for 12 weeks. Aside from your mortgage, car payment and living expenses, you just added another tiny expensive person into the mix and you are expected to keep on top of all those things on no income.
“Many states have their own laws giving pregnant women and new parents the right to take time off; however, Florida is not among them.” – J.D. Guerin
Pregnancy Discrimination Act
According to the article Disability Secrets, “The Pregnancy Discrimination Act doesn’t require employers to provide pregnancy or parental leave. If an employer already makes leave available for other temporary disabilities, however, it must make the same leave available to employees who are unable to work due to pregnancy.” What good is the act if it provides no extra coverage or special accommodations for the new mother (and father)?
Below is an image that shows how the U.S compares to the rest of the world when it comes to maternity leave:
You will notice that the US has a big fat 0 on it (only about 3 states have initiated their own form of maternity leave in the sole of the United States).
According to the BabyCenter Blog, research shows that having time off to be with your newborn makes a difference. Many mothers in the United States can’t afford to take unpaid time off of work and instead decide to return after a short period of time, some even return immediately. Check out the BabyCenter Blog below for countless reasons why parents should have time off with their little ones.
@BabyCenter – http://blogs.babycenter.com/mom_stories/is-president-obama-your-ticket-6252014-to-paid-maternity-leave/
J.D. Guerin – http://www.disabilitysecrets.com/resources/disability/disability-rights/maternity-leave-rights-in-florida#