What are a pregnant employeesrights to maternity/disability benefits?

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What are a pregnant employeesrights to maternity/disability benefits?

I work for a franchise with several locations nationwide. There are only 2 stores in my area. My particular store only has 4 employees – full-time (the owner and myself) and 2part-time. I was hired a few days ago and I am 24 weeks pregnant. I am obviously pregnant, however, the owner hasn’t said anything regarding my pregnancy. This- leads me to believe that she may not know. I’m hesitant to bring it up since I don’t qualify for FMLA and according to Title VII, I also do not qualify for EEO (only 2 full-time employees). Do I have any rights to maternity leave without being fired or replaced?

Asked on February 17, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Missouri

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, as you already know, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and many other federal laws or benefits do not apply to a business as small as the one you describe. (For good reason; a busines with 3 full time equivalents--2 full time, 2 part time staff--can't function if 1/3 it's workforce goes out for several weeks.) Some states have their own laws providing for maternity or medical leave that is more generous than the federal law, but MO is not one of them. That being the case, whether or not your employer will grant you leave or hold you job or make some other accomodation is voluntary on his or her part: their is no legal requirement on them to do so.


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