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Iowa Maternity and Pregnancy: What you need to know

Iowa is one of only a few states that requires preferential treatment for pregnant employees with regard to time off. The Iowa Civil Rights Act requires employers to grant unpaid leave to employees who are temporarily disabled because of pregnancy or related medical conditions, even if similar leaves are not granted for other temporary disabilities, and even if the leave is not available to the employee under any health, temporary disability, or sick leave plan. Employees are entitled to leave for the period of temporary disability or for 8 weeks, whichever is less. The Act applies to all employers, regardless of size.
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Employees must provide timely notice that they plan to take a leave of absence. Before granting leave, an employer may require that the employee's disability be verified by medical certification.
Some states have laws that require employers to give male as well as female employees time off for the birth of a child, but Iowa does not have such a law for private employers. However, Iowa employers with 50 or more employees may have family leave obligations under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). There are more details on the FMLA.
State law provides that a woman may breastfeed the woman’s own child in any public or private location where the mother and the child otherwise are authorized to be present (Iowa Code Sec. 135.30A ). The statute doesn't specifically mention employers; however, it can be construed to include places of employment, given the expansive nature of the law’s language. In order to accommodate breastfeeding, employers may wish to set aside a quiet, private area, and/or establish protocol or ...

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