When can I begin my maternity leave?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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When can I begin my maternity leave?

My employer told me to send them my dates I would
begin maternity leave. My due date is April 12 so I
told them I wanted it to begin April 8 as it is a very
physical job. I received an email from my manager
April 8 after using my vacation time the first week in
April, that my maternity leave wont begin until the
baby is born. This was not made clear to me. I was
told or under the impression I could begin maternity
when I needed to.

Asked on April 9, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Massachusetts


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Legally guaranteed (such as under the Family and Medical Leave Act, or FMLA) maternity leave is for medical care, for the birth of a child, or to care for a newborn. So legally guaranteed leave begins when you give birth, unless you needed time off for medical care before. A company might agree to let you begin leave early, but is not required to do so.

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