Recently, there was an article published in the New York Times that illustrated how major companies are taking parental leave serious. Millennials are the biggest generation to hit the work force to date and they have high expectations for their future careers. They want to work for companies who offer accommodations for their employees that suit both genders. It will take a general 15 to 20 years for all companies to follow the pioneers of the workforce; however the competitive pressures in the labor market are pushing for greater independence and flexibility.
These new ideals have the American economy in a tug of war with gender roles and the rise of two-income families.
With the hours at work increasing, pushing for newer innovations and the faster advances, the absence of government policies like parental leave has left the working family juggling between family and careers at all income levels. White-collar workers are often anticipated to have a specific focus on work. For blue-collar workers in most companies, such a leave isn’t even available. Additionally, more than half of non-working families say that home responsibilities are a reason they are not working as found by a study done through the New York Times, CBSNEWS, and Kaiser Family Foundation Poll. Only 12% of workers actually have paid family leave.
Driven by demographics and societal changes, women are rising to become managers and leaders which coincide with parental leave. They are confronting the inevitable push and pull of the work-family balance and the continual progression of parental gender roles have men seeking paid leave as well. If an employer offers paid maternity leave that is not classified as a medical disability resulting from pregnancy, it must offer that same leave to fathers or face employment discrimination liability under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Does Florida have a Paid Family Leave?
Florida doesn’t specifically have a parental leave put in place for workers. However, it does enforce the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 or FMLA which states that companies must give qualifying employees at least 12 weeks of annual unpaid leave due to certain family-related or medical reasons. This applies to most employers with at least 50 or more employees as well as public agencies. Qualifying staff must have worked for the company for at least 1,250 hours for at least one year. Once the employee’s leave is over, the worker is entitled to reinstatement to the same position and while the employee is on leave, they are entitled to continuation of group health coverage. Continually, employees who are pregnant are protected from discrimination under the federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act or PDA. This could also entitle employees for unpaid time off without fear of being fired or demoted upon return. This applies to biological children, adopted children and foster children.
If your employer has denied you FMLA leave reprehensively or discriminated against you because of your pregnancy, you may want to seek advice from an experienced employment lawyer. A lawyer can tell you whether your claim has merit and what steps to take to defend your rights.
Contact an experienced Clearwater, Florida employment law attorney for help today
If you have been wrongfully denied a reasonable accommodation based on your parental duties or have suffered from unlawful discrimination due to your pregnancy, you should not delay in contacting an experienced employment lawyer at the Dolman Law Group today. Our attorneys are committed to helping employees stand up for their rights and we will always evaluate your case at no charge. Please contact our office in Clearwater, Florida today at (727) 853-6275 to discuss how we can help you.
Dolman Law Group
5435 Main Street
New Port Richey, FL 34652