Recently I discovered that not all employers will cover maternity leave. Many will allow an expectant female to leave for a period of time, but it will be under a leave without pay license.

Aside from the obvious options of taking another job with a better employer, or the husband taking another job, what other alternatives exist in this situation?


The option of taking another job that will cover maternity leave, will mean to put on hold the baby plan until the qualifying period happens.

  • Tagging this as a U.S.-specific question. FWIW, in Canada (and likely in some other nations), maternity and parental leave benefits are guaranteed by law and benefits provided by some government programs. Thought of moving to another country? :-) – Chris W. Rea Mar 10 '12 at 21:27
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    Some big companies or Government Agencies have leave banks that some employees are able to use. I have seen some groups limit the the use to complications from the pregnancy, not just normal maternity leave. – mhoran_psprep Mar 11 '12 at 4:00

FYI: Per the Family Medical Leave Act on 1993 (FMLA) most companies in the US (except small ones) are REQUIRED to give you maternity leave. They are not required, however, to pay you. You should also be aware of this eligibility proviso if she intends to switch companies:

Employees must have worked at that company for at least 12 months. They also must work at least 1,250 hours during the previous year.

So the whole switching jobs plan is probably a very bad idea. You might even lose your ability to the rights you already have.

Also, you might be hard pressed to find a company that voluntarily pays for Maternity leave. Even if they did, I bet those companies are a bit hesitant to hire pregnant women and let them go out on paid leave almost immediately. Frankly the idea of doing that to an employer seems kind of wrong to me.

One of you are just going to have to get a job and make do. That's pretty much what everyone else manages to do apparently.

  • Most big companies, government agencies, and union shops pay 50% salary for 8-16 weeks. (After some sort of qualification period) – duffbeer703 Mar 10 '12 at 22:59

Short term disability coverage will usually cover 40-60% of salary for 6 months.

See if the employer offers a disability plan, or talk to the management about bringing in a company like Aflac or Unum that offers these benefits at little or no employer expense.

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    Some short-term disability plans specifically exclude pregnancy as a qualifying disability. – Dilip Sarwate Mar 11 '12 at 1:20
  • @duffbeer703 - This is an excellent point. I will see if any of our employers will offer this coverage. Thanks for the tip. – Geo Mar 11 '12 at 4:17

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