October 3, 2010

Understanding Maternity Leave

I had a sweet talk with another mom while at the Pedicenter (a local urgent care type place for kids) late last night.  We were sitting in the waiting room talking while waiting for our kids to be seen.  She was a mom of three, her youngest was 6 weeks old.  She was talking about dreading going back to work in two weeks and saying she would give anything to have some more time at home. 

This got me thinking that there must be so many mom's out there that don't know about family bonding.  Family bonding time is for mom's to take an additional 6 weeks after their disability is over to stay home and bond with their new infant.  This time is paid the same way the disability is, but is applied for separately. 

Your job is required to allow you this time, as well as, 6 more additional weeks (though the 6 additional weeks are unpaid).  So total time off after the baby arrives can be a total of 18 to 20 weeks.  Also the last 6 weeks if you can't afford to take a full 6 weeks off at once, the time can be used intermittently.  That means you can take a day off every week until the time runs out.  You don't even have to use it right away, it can be done anytime in the baby's first year of life.  It will expire after that though. 

I told this sweet mama this last night and she just about screamed out of excitement.  She was going to be able to be off through the holidays.  It is so sad when people aren't informed of their right to be at home and end up returning to work and losing their bonding time.

This is all California law and payments through our Employee Development Department, please for those of you out of state, look through your states maternity leave laws and Family Bonding laws.


  1. You know, I vaguely knew about this. I was put on rest for 3 months before baby and then I did take off 3 months after. But going back to work, I was given so much grief if I had to call off due to Hayden being sick, etc. I wish I would have just said, Oh, I'm taking a day off every week because I'm entitled to it (Unpaid, of course, but I wasn't being paid when I called off--just written up by work!) I'm kind of glad that it happened though, because it was such a high stress job and I ended up quitting and I'm out of retail!

  2. The bonding time is also covered for adoptive momma's! I used it when we brought our daughter home last year and I split it up too to save the time for holidays since I used all my vacation time already for our 2 weeks in FL, picking up our daughter.

  3. California and New Jersey both have laws providing paid leave time for bonding with baby. FMLA provides 12 weeks of unpaid leave for those in other states, and many states have leave laws providing unpaid leave that fill holes in the Federal law.



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