Maternity Leave for Moms Who Work

Kimberly Watson, Editor in Chief
May 17, 2012 /

How does the USA differ from some European countries regarding time off for working moms?

If you are a mom in Italy, you could take up to five months maternity leave and receive full pay! However, when compared to Norway, that is not such a good deal. For working moms in that country, there is a provision for more than ten months leave for the birth of their child.

So how does this compare to America and can working moms afford to take time off from work to have a baby!

In the United States, only California and New Jersey have a law in place allowing new moms to take off work and spend time bonding with their baby. They receive benefits for up to six weeks.

California allows for 55% of wages to be paid and New Jersey two thirds of salary. State insurance programs cover the money. Some employers do offer new moms temporary disability cover that provides a weekly portion of the salary.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, less than 40% of America’s working moms have access to short-term disability insurance through their employers.

For those on leave and not being paid, it is possible for working moms to take out individual short-term insurance for added income. First time mothers are entitled to take up to 12 weeks off without pay. New dads are also entitled the same 12 weeks off, unless they are both working for the same firm, when the limits off can vary.

Some working moms may not qualify under the Federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). This applies if they are among the top ten per cent of earners for the company, or your absence causes significant financial loss by keeping your position open while you are away on leave.

Each state differs regarding laws pertaining to leave for working moms. Some provide for longer time off work, than others do. It is necessary for new moms to check out the legal amenities for leave, in the state they live in.


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