Taking Family Medical/Maternity Leave
Medical leave is an important tool as well. Knowing what your employer allows and what is your right under federal law is very important. The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) applies to businesses that employ fifty or more people. To qualify for leave under this federal program, you need to have worked for the company for at least one year prior to starting leave. You must also have worked 1,250 hours for that employer in order to qualify for the FMLA.
FMLA provides you with twelve weeks of leave to take care of a newborn child, a newly adopted child, or in the event of a major illness in your immediate family. This usually has to be used in conjunction with your accrued vacation and sick time. You do not have to take all of this leave, however. It may also be available to your husband if he meets the requirements outlined above.
Use this time to get to know the general policies of your workplace and that of your husband's. What have previous employees done in similar situation? Was flextime or job sharing an option?
Be certain you and your employer meet the requirements for the Family Medical Leave Act (FLMA). Do not assume that you are covered. Your human resources department can help you answer some questions. You can also check out the law and find answers to frequently asked questions at:
Start budgeting now for your time off. If you will still have income coming in during your maternity leave, it most likely won't be as much as you are used to living on now. It's also possible that you won't be getting any pay during your leave and, if so, you will need to alter your budget accordingly. Be sure to find out if you will need to cover your insurance premiums from work if you are not receiving a paycheck.