Expanding leave benefits for expecting parents can be great – but overlapping federal, state, and employer-provided policies can confuse the uninitiated. Is your HR department ready to answer these questions?
- How much time off can I take?
- How much leave is paid versus unpaid?
- Do I have to use my sick, vacation, or PTO?
- What information do I need to submit – and to whom – for my leave to be approved?
- Can I take off sporadically or work part-time instead of taking off all at once?
- When does my right to take leave end?
Below are six tips to make sure everyone is prepared for the big day:
- Review your employer-authorized pregnancy and parental leave policies to determine whether they are consistent with your current values and culture.
- Assess all your work sites and determine whether any are located in states with special pregnancy or parental leave laws. (Examples: New York, New Jersey, DC, California)
- Assess all your work sites and determine if you are a covered employer and have any covered work sites under the FMLA.
- If you operate in jurisdictions that have government-mandated pregnancy or parental leave laws, research the laws and determine how they apply to your employees. (Pro tip: Depending on your organization’s size, this could be a Herculean task. It may be worth hiring a competent consultant or attorney to ensure you have the most up-to-date information)
- Draft leave policies that incorporate all this information.
- Draft fact sheets for each jurisdiction. This way, your employees – including those in HR! – don’t have to second-guess what information applies to their situation.