Maternity Leave Regulations

Moms to be that are in the work force should know the laws and regulations in their area for maternity leave. The Family and Medical Leave Act states if a soon to be mom has worked in the United States for more than a year, she is entitled to 12 weeks of unpaid leave. This does not apply, especially, for small businesses with less than 50 employees, and might reflect in company policy. It should be noted that sometimes this is under state law, and should be researched at a state level too. It always helps to talk with another co-worker who has gone on leave previously. She would be able to give insight into expectations presented by the company on leaving and returning.

Preparing for Leave

Your boss should be the first to know you’re pregnant. This conversation should be had with your boss first before the excitement all telling your colleagues. It will show your intentions of coming back to work, and both of you will be on the same page of your return.

After you have established the duration and policy for maternity leave with your company and spoken with your boss, it’s now time to organize a plan. Getting together a list of your responsibilities, and look to see who they can be delegated to for a short time. It shouldn’t be presented as another task for the co-worker, but as them stepping up and being sought after because you know they can handle more. Take time to ensure each role is properly assigned and clearly instructed on how to do.

If you do have client relationships, keep them in the know. Introduce them to who will be stepping in for the time being over a period of time, so the client can grow to trust them. Sometimes it can be difficult for the client to understand or trust the new person stepping in, but ensure them it is brief, but needed for you to return with no complications for them! Plus, you don’t have to completely cut all ties while on leave. Moms can always “check in” via email or phone briefly, as long as it is convenient for you!

The Do’s and Dont's of Maternity Leave:

Don’t:
  • Assume everyone is eager to add more tasks to their plate while you are gone – let them know this is something that they were sought out for and can only see as succeeding in
  • Stick to the plan, no matter what— be open to changes
  • Think is time to check out completely from your job — send an email or call to let the office know you’re here for questions or concerns
Do:
  • Do your diligence on maternity leave and all guidelines and procedures that need to be followed by your company
  • Be the first to tell your boss the news — assume that once one person knows, everyone will know
  • Treat maternity leave as an opportunity for growth — for both you and your team

Organizing, delegating, worrying about someone taking over your projects and the daunting return to work is a challenge for new moms. It’s not impossible but does take time management and cooperative co-workers to make everything go smoothly.