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Pregnancy and maternity leave rights in Rhode Island

On Behalf of | Mar 3, 2023 | Family And Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

If you are a working woman in Rhode Island who is pregnant or planning to have a baby, it’s essential to know your rights to take maternity leave and the protections you have under the law. In Rhode Island, pregnant workers have legal rights that guarantee employment protections during pregnancy and postpartum recovery.

Rhode Island laws on pregnancy and maternity leave

Rhode Island has several laws in place to protect pregnant workers’ rights, including the Rhode Island Parental and Family Medical Leave Act (PFMLA), which allows eligible employees to take time off for the adoption or birth of a child or to provide care to family members with severe health conditions. This FMLA applies to employers with 50 or more employees and provides up to 13 weeks of leave over two years.

Additionally, the federal Family and Medical Leave Act requires employers with more than 50 employees to offer up to 12 weeks of leave (unpaid) for the adoption/birth of a child. This also covers time to attend to severe medical conditions affecting the employee or a family member. Under the FMLA, eligible employeesare entitled to return to their job or an equivalent position after their leave.

Pregnancy discrimination in the workplace

Pregnancy discrimination is illegal in Rhode Island. According to the law, workers are entitled to reasonable accommodations if they are pregnant or have a medical condition related to their pregnancy. For example, an employer would need to permit the employee to take frequent breaks or not require lifting heavy objects. In addition, employers cannot refuse to hire, terminate or demote an employee due to their pregnancy status.

Knowing your pregnancy and maternity leave rights

If you are pregnant or planning to have a baby, knowing your legal rights to maternity leave can help recognize and protect you from pregnancy discrimination in Rhode Island. Remember, these are just a few critical protections available to pregnant workers in Rhode Island, and other state or federal laws may apply to your situation.