What Is the New York Maternity Leave?


Maternity leave is one of the most family-friendly and fundamental rights that workplaces offer. It gives women the convenience to continue their jobs after giving birth, giving them time to bond with their children and recover physically and emotionally. It is when a woman can legally take a leave from work before or after the birth of a child. Many companies even allow expecting fathers to take off from work, too, known as paternity leave.

What Are the NY State Maternity Leave Laws?

If you work in New York and about to become a parent, you are authorized to a  salary replacement payment under NYPFL Law while on maternity leave. This law helps make the life of new parents easier, helps them adjust to new conditions, and supports new families in this crucial time. If you take maternity/paternity leave under the NYPFL Law, you are authorized to receive either the lower of 50% of your average wage or the state’s average wage. Both parents are entitled and can use this benefit to adjust or bond with the new child during the first 12 weeks after the child’s birth. 

NY maternity leave can be taken for 12 weeks. New York employees, just like the employees of other states, have the right to take leave under FMLA or PDA. But unlike employees in other states, New York employees are also entitled to get paid during this.

Who Can Take Maternity Leave?

Not all the employees can take maternity leave as there are some rules regarding the eligibility criteria. Employees must be eligible for the paid and unpaid NY maternity leave under FMLA rules. According to FMLA rules, employees who have worked for at least 12 months or 1250 hours are eligible for the NY maternity leave.

Can You Be Fired for Taking Maternity Leave? 

A mother who is fired while on maternity leave may assume that she can legally claim for discrimination. However, it depends on the reason for termination. If the mother was solely terminated for maternity leave, this comes in unlawful pregnancy discrimination, and she can take legal action for it. But if the whole department is being eliminated and you being on maternity leave becomes a part of the reduction, then it’s not illegal to terminate you.

When Can You Take a Maternity Leave?

The earliest you can take your maternity leave is 11 weeks before your due date. However, if you decide to work until the last minute, your leave will start then. Similarly, if you go into labor earlier than expected, your maternity leave will begin. Unless your employer specifies the leave time, you can continue working until your due date if you feel like working. However, it is advised to take maternity leave 1 or 2 weeks before the due date to avoid stress and anxiety of going into labor and ensure a planned arrival of your baby.

You can request your maternity leave by announcing your pregnancy to your boss after it is confirmed, most likely after the three-month mark, and giving her an approximate date of your leave so she could plan things by temporarily hiring someone and training them.

How Should You Keep in Touch With Your Company While on Maternity Leave?

You are entitled to disconnect from your work during your maternity leave, but still, if you decide to stay in touch with your company, make sure to communicate with your manager and your co-workers that you’re just checking in to stay updated, but you’re still on leave.

How Should You Return to Work After Maternity Leave?

After your maternity leave, then comes the time of transitioning back to the workplace, which can be challenging for many women. If you’re one of those women, these tips will be beneficial for you.

  • Do some advance work to make the transition smoother
  • Return gradually if it’s possible
  • Get essential details from your human resources (HR) department
  • Schedule your return date
  • Reach out to your boss and talk to your colleagues
  • Find childcare and a backup childcare
  • Consider working from home option
  • Mentally prepare yourself

Maternity leave is when a new mother takes off from her job following the birth of her baby. NY Maternity leave is a combination of a variety of benefits that include short-term disability, personal days, holiday time, vacation, sick leave, and unpaid family leave time. It is better to plan your maternity leave to avoid any unexpected financial challenges.

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