If I have completed more than 1 yearwith the company, am I eligible for maternity leave and pay or not?

I joined the company 13 months ago. Despite making several request they have not processed my labor card for this period. Now that I am pregnant and informed them about my maternity, they are trying to terminate me? Can I register a case against them in the UAE labor court for the same or not?

Asked on March 7, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Alaska

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If you are a member of a union and/or your workplace is subject to a union or collective bargaining agreement, then you need to look to your union agreement/contract to see your rights. There is no way to answer your question in general; when there is any employment agreement, including a union agreement, its specific terms control to the extent that they address the issue.

Leaving aside any union contract: the law does not generally require maternity pay--companies may provide it, but are not required to.

If your company and you are both covered by the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), then you can at least take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for child birth and care of a newborn. If you have worked more or less full time for 13 months, you should qualify; for the employer or company to also be covered, it must have at least 50 employees working within a 75-mile radius. Assuming both you and the company meet the criteria, you could take unpaid leave.

Finally, U.S. law makes it illegal to discriminate against women in the workplace on the basis of pregnancy, so if they are threatening to fire you because they found out you are pregnant, this may be illegal employment discrimination and you may have a legal claim; you should discuss the matter with an employment law attorney, or you could contact your state labor department or civil rights division.


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