Massachusetts Maternity and Pregnancy: What you need to know

The Massachusetts Fair Employment Practices Law makes it unlawful to discriminate against an employee based on sex, which includes pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions (MA Gen. Laws Ch. 151B Sec. 1et seq.). It is also unlawful for an employer to refuse to restore a female employee to her employment or to impose any other penalty following her absence for maternity leave (MA Gen. Laws Ch. 151B Sec. (4)11). The Act covers private employers with six or more employees, all public employers, employment agencies, and labor organizations.
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Under the state Parental Leave Act (PLA), formerly known as the Massachusetts Maternity Leave Act (MMLA), employers with six or more employees must provide qualified employees with a maximum of 8 weeks of unpaid leave for specified purposes. An employee is eligible for leave under the PLA if he or she has completed the initial probationary period of employment, not to exceed 3 months or, if no such period exists, has been employed for at least 3 consecutive months by the same employer as a full-time employee. Amendments to the former MMLA expanded the law to cover male employees, as well as female employees.
An employee may use PLA leave for the purposes of caring for a child after:
• The child’s birth;
• Adopt a child who is under the age of 18;
• The child’s adoption if the child is under the age of 18 (or under the age of 23 if the child is mentally or physically disabled); or
• The child’s placement with the employee pursuant to a court order.
Under amendments to the maternity leave law effective in April 2015, male employees are also eligible for up to 8 weeks of leave under the law.
Leave may be granted with or ...

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