If you are a full-time employee and you are expecting a child, you have rights under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Your employer is not allowed to fire you if you are forced to take time off due to your pregnancy or when you are caring for your newborn. Unfortunately, many employers fail to comply with the FMLA. If this is the case for your employer, it's important to get in contact with an FMLA lawyer as soon as possible.
Broach the Topic with Your Employer
When you are considering taking time off, speak with your employer. In some cases, they may be willing to give you time off without a hassle. However, if your employer is resistant to the idea of you receiving paid time off, it's a good idea to speak with an FMLA lawyer to find out if you're eligible.
Know Whether You're Covered
Under the FMLA, most public sector employees are covered. If you work in the private sector, you might also be covered. However, you will need to have worked for your employer for long enough and you'll also need to work a sufficient number of hours. You must also work within the United States or one of the US territories.
Meet the Requirements
There might be other requirements as well such as the requirement that you provide advanced notice before you take leave. However, this might not be required if you did not know you were pregnant and you now have to suddenly request leave.
Know When Your Rights are Being Violated
If your employer is resistant, they could simply be unaware of the legal requirements. A lawyer can assist you in discussing this topic with your employer in the most constructive manner possible. In other cases, your employer might be willfully refusing to allow you to exercise your rights. If this is the case, involving a lawyer in your case can send the message that you're serious about protecting your rights.
An FMLA violation can be something as simple as discouraging you from taking time off. They also are not allowed to pressure you to come back. If your employer tells you that it's not a good time to file an FMLA claim, you might have a case to file a claim. However, because these cases can often be very complicated, it's always a good idea to receive help from an FMLA lawyer.