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  • Maternity Leave in Utah

    How can I find out the maternity leave laws (if any) for my state?

    I work for a small company, only 10 employees. I am the only female, I am pregnant and have not yet decided if I'm returning to work after the baby.

    My employer "doesn't know" if they offer maternity leave. Our insurance covers it, but can I find out any requirements for my employer?

    They say they've never dealt with this, as I'm the first female employee, but I"m very frustrated. They've said that if I decide to quit after baby, they want to cancel my insurance when I go on maternity leave. Can they do that?

    Do I just tell them I'm not quitting? They've been bugging me for days, and I have the same answer, I haven't made up my mind yet, but am leaning towards quitting. I just don't know if I can swing it financially or not.

  • #2
    Should have mentioned that I don't tell the employeer I'm leaning towards quitting... only that I don't know yet.

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    • #3
      Sorry, finally, I'd also like to know if there is any law about my being paid for maternity leave, or if that's just up to the employeer.

      Thanks in advance!

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      • #4
        How can I find out the maternity leave laws (if any) for my state? http://www.labor.state.ut.us/ A quick search at that site did not reveal any indication Utah has any State level leave laws however.

        My employer "doesn't know" if they offer maternity leave. Our insurance covers it, but can I find out any requirements for my employer? Your group health plan would cover the medical bills; that has nothing to do with whether your employer is obligated to extend leave. Because of their small size, your employer is not obligated to offer any employee leave time and they are exempt from all federal discrimination laws.

        They say they've never dealt with this, as I'm the first female employee, but I"m very frustrated. They've said that if I decide to quit after baby, they want to cancel my insurance when I go on maternity leave. Can they do that? Yes, they can. They're too small to be subject to federal health insurance continuation reg's as well.

        Do I just tell them I'm not quitting? That's up to you but it won't alter the situation either way from a legal perspective.

        I'd also like to know if there is any law about my being paid for maternity leave, or if that's just up to the employeer. That's entirely up to the employer.

        It can be hard being the "test case" with a small employer when they have no policy or past practice to go by. I suggest you sit down with the boss and calmly discuss the situation. You may be the first employee in need of medical/maternity leave but you won't be the last. This is a good time for your employer to come up with some sort of medical leave policy they feel they can live with and how they're going to handle medical insurance benefits for any employee on leave.

        The approach you want to take with the boss is not focusing on maternity leave but rather medical leave. What would they do if John Doe the accounting manager needed a leave for six - eight weeks because he was having surgery? Your situation actually isn't any different. You have a condition that will require medical leave shortly. That's what everyone needs to focus on, not the fact that the medical condition happens to be pregnancy.

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        • #5
          Thank you for your responses.

          One last question, I hope you can answer it.

          Right now I pay half the insurance deductible monthly, my employer pays half also. If they cancel it, will I then be responsible for all bills pertaining to the pregnancy?

          My feeling is that they don't want to keep paying for my insurance if I'm not coming back, but if they don't, I can't afford to have the baby.

          It's an awkward situation. I'd almost rather tell them yes, I'm coming back and then quit soon after, but I hate doing that to future women who work here (bad name and all) as well as it's just plain sticky since my boss is my best friend's wife.

          Sob story, I know

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          • #6
            Hi, fericito --

            Regarding continuation of your health benefits, while it is correct that the federal COBRA law doesn't cover an employer the size of yours, I believe Utah has a state statute that is similar that covers all employers not covered by the federal COBRA law. You'll need to talk with a Utah attorney to get the details, but it looks like if you have been employed for 6 months, you can get continuation coverage (for which you pay the full premiums) for 6 months.

            Cynthia

            *Note: the foregoing is provided for educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.
            Cynthia Calvert, WorkLife Law

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            • #7
              Cynthia may well be correct but I can't find any info on that at Utah's DOL website. You may be able to save yourself the cost of an attorney consult though. Try Utah's Home Page: http://www.utah.gov/

              There's a "24/7 Live Help" feature at the top of the page. They may be able to give you the information you're seeking on any group health continuation law Utah has and which employers are subject to that regulation.

              Right now I pay half the insurance deductible monthly, my employer pays half also. I presume you mean you pay half of the insurance premium.

              If they cancel it, will I then be responsible for all bills pertaining to the pregnancy? If your coverage lapses before the baby's birth, yes. If Utah has it's own continuation law that applies to all employers (my State has such a reg), then very likely you would be responsible for paying 100% of the monthly premium in order to continue coverage while you're on leave as well as if your employment terminates.

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