What is a Maternity Leave Letter of Intent?
A maternity leave letter of intent is a document that you should submit to your employer when requesting the necessary time-off to give birth, recover, and take care of your newborn child.
How long is a maternity leave?
As stated in the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) of 1993, you are allowed to take up to twelve weeks off work to give birth and take care of your newborn child. When you request a maternity leave, you are guaranteed to have your original job and position back once returning from maternity leave.
The following states have created their own family or maternity leave laws, if you are residing or working in one of these states, ask for information about the maternity leave law of your state.
- New Jersey
- Rhode Island
- New York
- Washington state
- District of Columbia
What is the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993?
The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 is a federal law requiring companies to provide employees up to twelve weeks of unpaid leave every year for family and health reasons. The leave can be taken in one twelve-week period all at once or be taken as intermittent leave under special circumstances.
Intermittent leave is allowed within a reduced amount with the birth of a child. This leave is also allowed if you are required to have medical treatment or therapy during work hours.
Maternity leave is one of the situations an employee can take the unpaid leave under this law. Another reason an employee can use the unpaid leave is to take care of a family member with a serious health condition or of a military service member in the family who has a serious health condition.
The Family and Medical Leave Act was instituted and signed into law by President Bill Clinton on February 5, 1993.
The Family and Medical Leave Act only applies to companies with 50 or more employees within 75 miles of the company’s main workplace. Companies that meet this requirement must offer FMLA coverage to employees.
What are the requirements for FMLA eligibility?
In order to be eligible for FMLA, you must meet the following requirements:
- You must work for an FMLA-covered employer
- You must have worked for your employer for at least 12 months.
- You must have worked for at least 1,250 hours for your employer before taking your leave.
What happens if I am not eligible for the Family and Medical Leave Act?
If you are not eligible for FMLA and you miss work, your employer may terminate you legally.
Who are covered by the Family and Medical Leave Act?
The Federal Law states that the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 only applies to immediate family members, including parents, spouses, and children.
However, in 2008 amendments expanded the coverage of the FMLA to next of kin and adult children. These rights are applicable to those in a same-sex marriage or common-law marriage.
Can I be laid off while on leave?
You can be laid off while on an FMLA leave.
The Family and Medical Leave Act states that you can return to your job and position after taking a leave. But the job is not protected if you are to be fired before or after your leave.
Can I be fired after I take my FMLA leave?
No, you cannot be fired by your employer for taking an FMLA leave. However, your job may be terminated after you take your leave. Employers need to be aware of FMLA interference and retaliation claims that you may make if your employer fires you without solid reasons
If the termination of your job was in the works before you took your leave, your employer can safely fire you. The following circumstances may allow your employer to fire you:
- You are not complying with the orders of your supervisors
- You have performance issues before taking your leave.
- You were frequently absent or late from work.
- There is solid evidence that your termination was decided before you took your leave.
How to fill out a Maternity Leave Letter of Intent?
Enter your full name.
Enter your address.
City, State, and ZIP
Enter the city, state, and ZIP code of your address.
Enter the date when you are writing this letter.
Name of recipient
Enter the name of your employer or the name of the person you are submitting this letter to.
The first line of the letter states that you are submitting this letter to inform your employer and the company that you are pregnant and you intend to take a maternity leave.
Expected date of birth of child
The next line of the letter indicates the date that your physician expects the birth of your child. Enter the expected date.
Last day of work before taking maternity leave
The next line of the letter indicates your last day of work before taking your maternity leave. Provide the date of your last day at work.
Number of weeks off
Provide the number of weeks you intend to take time off from work.
The next line of the letter states that if no medical issues or complications regarding your childbirth, you expect to get back to work in the same position you had before taking maternity leave.
On the last line of the letter, provide your email and contact number. The line also states that if the company needs certain documents, doctor’s notes, or other information required for your request to be accepted, your employer or company can contact you using the provided details.
Provide your signature.
What are the benefits of taking a maternity leave?
- In some states, taking a maternity leave still guarantees that you will receive your salary. In order to be granted this benefit, you must have at least worked 12 months for the company.
- Taking a maternity leave allows you to fully take care of yourself and your newborn child.
- Requesting for a maternity leave makes your employer or company informed and aware of your situation.
- When you request a maternity leave, the company can find a temporary replacement to fulfill your duties and assume your responsibilities while you are on maternity leave.