Pregnant employees may become physically unable to work because of childbirth. Here’s what to know about Florida pregnancy disability leave.
The Family and Medical Leave Act protects employees in Florida for up to twelve weeks of paid time off for pregnancy-related reasons. If an employee suffers a physical disability due to pregnancy, employers must allow employees to take up to four months of pregnancy disability leave. Employers cannot fire employees for taking time off because of pregnancy disability.
Florida Leave Laws
In Florida, employers may allow employees up to twelve weeks of unpaid leave for family and medical reasons. The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) protects employees at all public agencies and schools in Florida.
Employees are eligible for paid leave if they meet any of the following requirements:
- Worked for the employee for at least twelve consecutive months
- Worked at least 1250 hours for the last twelve months at the company
- The company has at least 50 employees within 75 miles
Pregnancy Disability Leave in Florida
Pregnant employees may use unpaid leave due to any pregnancy complications. The employee’s time off for pregnancy complications will count toward twelve weeks of family and medical leave.
The federal Department of Fair Employment and Housing provides the Pregnancy Disability Leave Act for all employees to take time off for pregnancy and care for newborn children. The Act allows mothers up to four months of time off for disabilities caused by pregnancy. Employees physically unable to work due to pregnancy may take time off from work before or after birth.
An employee may take pregnancy disability leave in Florida for any of the following reasons:
- Childbirth recovery
- Doctor-ordered bed rest
- Loss or end of pregnancy
- Prenatal care
- Postnatal care
- Related medical conditions
- Severe morning sickness
Employees may take pregnancy disability leave for any pregnancy-related issues causing the employee to be unable to work. Employers must allow employees to return to work after a pregnancy disability leave. It is illegal for an employer to fire an employee for disability leave due to pregnancy issues. Florida pregnancy disability laws do not protect employees from other job adjustments for reasons not relating to pregnancy.
Employee and Employer Obligations for Pregnancy Disability Leave in Florida
Employees must provide employers with thirty days’ notice before leaving with an estimate for the length of the leave. If an employee cannot give thirty days’ notice for the pregnancy-related disability, the employee must notify the employer as soon as possible. Employers may require employees to provide proof of the need for pregnancy disability leave from a healthcare provider caring for the employee.
Employers may allow pregnant employees in Florida to use sick or vacation accrued paid leave during pregnancy disability leave. If employers pay for group health benefits, the employer must continue to pay the benefits while the employee is on pregnancy disability leave.
Employees on pregnancy disability leave in Florida may be eligible for State Disability Insurance wage replacement. Pregnant employees should contact a Florida family lawyer to help receive pay while on pregnancy disability leave.
Florida Pregnancy Disability Leave FAQs
How long after a mother gives birth can she return to work in Florida?
Women in Florida may choose to return to work whenever they feel physically able to attend work and perform duties. Employers must allow mothers to return to work when they choose.
What if my pregnancy disability causes me to miss work without any warning?
Employers cannot punish pregnant employees for missing work due to pregnancy disability. An employee should give the employer notice. If the pregnancy disability is unexpected, the employee can inform the employer as soon as possible.