If this happens, the law gives the employee a number of options. Paid leave is guaranteed in 178 countries, the United States not being one of them. Your rights Managing Your Maternity Leave A United Nations survey found that out of 152 countries, the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Lesotho, Switzerland, and Papua New Guinea were the only ones one that did not have a national policy requiring paid maternity leave. Parental leave starts after maternity leave. The pregnant employee must have worked for their employer for at least 90 days before the start of the leave. Udeh did not return to work for Winn-Dixie and drew unemployment benefits for 18 months before returning to work at another employer. ... My employer is requesting a medical certificate because I returned to work 2 weeks after giving birth. When you return to work after maternity leave, it’s important to know your rights. ... An employer cannot fire or punish people because they take a leave. • you are entitled to all your contractual terms and conditions during maternity leave, apart from your pay. 8. Is this legal? Returning to work after maybe a year or more out of the workplace on maternity leave can be daunting. In California, many women have a legal right to be absent from work during and after their pregnancy, without having to risk losing their jobs.⁠1 Some women also have a right to be paid during maternity leave. That’s why it is particularly important to understand what your legal rights and entitlements are regarding holidays, promotions and pay, prior to heading back to work. Returning to work after maternity leave can be a difficult and uncertain time, particularly if you’ve just given birth to your first child and are unsure of your rights.. To help you understand what to expect and where you stand, solicitor Melissa Cook explains your legal position when you return to work from maternity leave. • you are entitled to 39 weeks’ maternity pay if you meet the qualifying conditions, see Maternity pay questions. Maternity leave is the time a woman takes off from her job for the birth, adoption, or foster care placement of her new child. The United States is the only high-income country to not offer paid maternity leave on a federal level. Winn-Dixie terminated Udeh about 10 days later—six weeks and one day after she began her maternity leave. Your rights during maternity leave: • all employees have the right to 52 weeks maternity leave with the right to return to work. Returning to Work after Parental, Maternity or Paternity Leave. This means a pregnant employee can take a leave of up to 78 weeks (1.5 years) – 16 weeks of maternity leave and 62 weeks of parental leave. 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