The employer can require the employee to use paid leave, such as vacation time, personal leave, or sick leave, for parental leave taken under the FMLA.
For more detailed information on rights and obligations under the FMLA contact the U.S. Department of Labor, Wage & Hour Division.
Pregnancy-Related Disability Leave
If an employee develops a serious health condition during pregnancy, and her doctor certifies her need for leave, she may be able to take unpaid leave under the FMLA or she may be considered to be a “qualified handicapped person” entitled to a leave of absence as a reasonable accommodation. See MCAD Fact Sheet on Employment Discrimination on the Basis of Disability.
You may be entitled to leave in addition to the (8) weeks as accommodation for a pregnancy- related disability.
Use of Paid Leave
The employer may restrict the use of paid sick leave to leave taken by a female employee at the birth of a child or leave taken because of a pregnancy-related health condition.
Employer's Parental Leave Policies Must Be Consistent with Other Leave Policies
If the employer provides pay for all other leaves of absence, the employer must also provide pay for parental leave.
If the employer provides pay for only medical leaves of absence, the employer must also provide pay for a pregnancy-related disability, but is not required to provide pay for leaves involving normal pregnancies, adoption by female employees, or leaves involving birth or adoption by male employees.
If the employer provides pay for benefits, plans, or programs associated with other types of temporary disability, the employer must provide pay for benefits, plans or programs associated with birth-related parental leave taken by female employees.
Any employer policy or collective bargaining agreement that provides for greater or additional benefits than those required by law must be followed.
Employees should consult their personnel officer, benefits officer, or union officer to receive the most current information about their employer's parental leave policies.
If you believe you have been discriminated against, contact the MCAD immediately because, in most circumstances, you must file a charge at the MCAD within 300 days of the alleged discriminatory action.