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Maternity Article

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Information About Maternity Leave and Maternity Care


There was a time when it was perfectly acceptable to discriminate against a woman once she became pregnant. But nowadays this practice is ethically unacceptable and 100 percent illegal.

Pregnancy is protected under the ground of gender. This means a pregnant woman is protected against
Being asked if she is pregnant or plans to have children
Being fired, laid off, or demoted because she is pregnant
Not being allowed to rent an apartment or house because she is pregnant. (This excludes residences that are specifically designated as adult-only or senior-only buildings.)
Being refused access to any type of public service like schools, hospitals, or restaurants, because she is pregnant.

Before a woman is ready to take maternity leave, her pregnancy may prevent her from doing her job. It is the employer’s responsibility to modify the workplace, if possible, so that she can work without harming herself or the baby she carries until she’s ready to take maternity leave. The employer cannot force a woman to take maternity leave earlier than she has planned.

Negative comments or reactions from customers or staff about an employee’s pregnancy cannot be used as a reason to fire her, demote her, lay her off, or force her to take early maternity leave.

In most states employers are legally required to continue paying the health related part of maternity leave benefit premiums if they already pay for employee benefit premiums when their employees are sick.

Naturally the type of maternity leave and maternity benefits vary from employer to employer and from state to state. It’s always best to do your research immediately once you find out you are pregnant and before you tell your employer, so that you know what you are entitled to receive regarding maternity benefits.
Another thing you should do when you find out that you are pregnant is to figure out what type of maternity care you would like to receive, what’s available to you, and what you can afford.
Many states consider primary maternity care a core service that is publicly funded and accessible and available to all women. But each hospital may have their own policies regarding maternity care. If you choose to have your baby in a hospital, be sure to check out the maternity care options available to you at the hospital of your choice.
And be sure to remember that maternity care is not just a matter of the service you’ll need during labor. It also refers to the services that you might need before pregnancy, as well as post-natal care.

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