Maternity & Paternity Leave

Maternity and paternity leave intersects with the ADA and FMLA in the State of Texas. Because there is no state or federal that guarantees workers maternity or paternity leave, the protections employees do have come from the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which contains the Pregnancy Discrimination Act.

How am I protected?

The FMLA gives workers 12 weeks of unpaid leave per year to care for themselves or a family member for a serious health condition. The FMLA also allows employees to take leave for the birth or adoption of a new child. The leave may be continuous or intermittent. And, the leave may begin before or after the birth of the child in some circumstances. Please read the article on the FMLA here to understand whether the FMLA applies to you and/or your employer.

Does my employer have to pay me for maternity leave?

Unfortunately, Texas does not require employers to pay employees for maternity or paternity leave. Employers, however, may adopt these policies on their own and the employer should enforce these policies uniformly for all employees. Failure to uniformly follow through on policy can raise suspicion of discrimination and/or retailation.

What are my employer's obligations?

Because Texas's maternity and paternity leave obligations for employers piggy backs on the FMLA, the obligations are the same as those established under the FMLA. You may read about these obligations in greater depth here. However, an employer must return a worker who took FMLA leave to their position upon return, and the employer must not engage in retaliation based on that leave.

Along the same lines, an employer may not discriminate against an employee becuase of her pregnancy, which can include maternity leave. Read more about pregnancy discrimination at this link here.

Contact your Texas Maternity and Paternity Leave Attorney

If you think you have experienced discrimination in the workplace or retaliation in the workplace because of maternity or paternity leave, contact me a Texas Employment lawyer to schedule a consultation. Employment discrimnation and workplace retaliation laws are complicated and often involve short statutory deadlines to exercise your rights. Contact me today to have your case reviewed by an employment lawyer.