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Ohio Maternity Leave

Posted by Tamara

Ohio, like many other states without a family or maternity leave law at the state level, must follow the guidelines for federal FMLA leave.

FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993) provides Ohio employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave per 12 month period. This federal law applies to employers with 50 or more employees within 75 miles.

This type of leave is granted for one of three reasons:

  • The employee’s own serious health condition.
  • The employee needs to care for a spouse, parent or child (under the age of 18) with a serious health condition.
  • To care for a newborn infant, a newly adopted child, or a foster child who has been newly placed in his or her home. (This leave is granted within the child’s first year after birth or placement).

Classification as a “serious health condition” includes conditions such as cancer, heart attack and stroke. In addition, drug addiction, alcoholism and mental illness (such as depression or bipolar disorder) are serious health conditions under FMLA. Pregnancy, too, is classified as a serious health condition for FMLA leave.

While on FMLA, the employer must continue to pay its portion of the worker’s group health insurance as it was paid while the employee was actively on the job. The employee, too, may be required to continue to pay their portion of the premium.

The job-protected clause under FMLA stipulates that when an employee returns from leave, he or she must be given the same job, or a position with comparable salary, duties and benefits. In addition, the employee cannot be terminated while on FMLA leave, nor can the absence be used for disciplinary situations.

For example, consider Jose, a manger of a retail store. He takes several weeks of FMLA leave to care for his father who had a heart attack. While Jose is on leave, the store burns down. When Jose returns, he must be given a similar job, so he is assigned to a new store with the same hours, pay and benefits as his old job.



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