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Pregnancy Discrimination
   
 

Common questions/answers about pregnancy and maternity leave

   
  1. Is a pregnant woman entitled to maternity leave?

2. Is there a set period of time for maternity leave?

3. Is the employee entitled to full pay while on maternity leave?

4. Is the employee entitled to her job back after she recovers from childbirth?

5. If the position is filled by another employee while the original employee is on maternity leave and the employer prefers the temporary replacement, can the employer refuse to provide the original job for the returning employee?

6. Can an employee be laid off or fired while pregnant or on maternity leave?

7. At what time in the pregnancy must an employee stop working?

8. If an employee experiences morning sickeness or another related physical condition fue to her pregnancy is she permitted to take leave during this time and then return to work for the remaining period of this pregnancy?

9. Must an employer provide health insurance coverage for pregnancy, childbirth and related medical conditions?

10. Must an employer provide health insruance coverage for dependents of employees for pregnancy related conditions?

11. If an employer provides fringe beneftis for employees on disability leave, such as shorter returning hours, continued salary or others, must they be provided to to the pregnant employee?

12. Is the employer required to grant leave for the purposes of childcare and bonding?

13. Can an employee collect worker's compensation or unemployment compensation when out of work due to pregnancy?

14. Are all employees covered by this legislation?

PREGNANCY DISCRIMINATION INFORMATION

1. Is a pregnant woman entitled to maternity leave?
Yes, an employer must grant a female employee leave for the period of time she is physically disabled due to pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions.
2. Is there a set period of time for maternity leave?
No, there is no set period of time for maternity leave. It is based on the period she is disabled as determined by a physician, usually the employee's personal doctor.
3. Is the employee entitled to full pay while on maternity leave?
The general rule is that pregnancy must be treated in the same manner that the employer treats other temporary physical disabilities. Therefore, if the employer continues to pay other temporarily disabled employees, it must pay pregnant women. If the employer requires use of vacation and/or sick leave for temporary disabilities, then it may require the same for pregnancy.
4. Is the employee entitled to her job back after she recovers from childbirth?
When the employee is physically able to return to work, her original job or a comparable position must be made available to her by the employer unless business necessity makes this impossible or unreasonable.
5. If the position is filled by another employee while the original employee is on maternity leave and the employer prefers the temporary replacement, can the employer refuse to provide the original job for the returning employee?
No, any change in position for the returning employee must be made for reasons of business necessity. An employer's preference for one employee over the other cannot be a factor in this decision.
6. Can an employee be laid off or fired while pregnant or on maternity leave?
No, an employee cannot be laid off or fired while pregnant or on leave for reasons related to her temporary disability. However, an employee while pregnant or on maternity leave is not immune from a general and legitimate lay off of employees for performance requirements.
7. At what time in the pregnancy must the employee stop working?
An employee can work until she is physically unable to perform her job.
8. If an employee experiences morning sickness or another related physical condition due to her pregnancy is she permitted to take leave during this time and then return to work for the remaining period of pregnancy?
Yes, and employee may need temporary leave in the early stages of the pregnancy and then return to work until the end of the pregnancy.
9. Must an employer provide health insurance coverage for pregnancy, childbirth and related medical conditions?
If an employer provides health insurance coverage for temporary disabilities, coverage must include pregnancy, childbirth and related medical conditions. If the particular policy purchased by the employer excludes pregnancy, the employer will be considered to be self-insured regarding pregnancy and thus be responsible for all pregnancy-related costs equal to costs covered by the policy for other temporary physical disabilities.
10. Must an employer provide health insurance coverage for dependents of employees for pregnancy related conditions?
An employer must provide the same level of coverage for pregnancy related conditions of dependents that is provided for other medical conditions. This level of coverage does not have to be as high as employee coverage.
11. If an employer provides fringe benefits for employees on disability leave, such as shorter returning hours, continued salary or others, must they be provided to the pregnant employee?
Yes, an employer must provide the same benefits to those on leave for pregnancy related conditions as for other reasons.
12. Is the employer required to grant leave for the purposes of childcare and bonding?
No, the required leave is for the period of disability. If an employer permits childcare leave, it must be granted equally to both men and women employees.
13. Can an employee collect worker's compensation or unemployment compensation when out of work due to pregnancy?
No, pregnancy is not covered by worker's compensation or unemployment compensation benefits in the state.
14. Are all employees covered by this legislation?
Employees working for companies with more than six employees (full or part-time) are covered.
 
 
 
New Hampshire Commission for Human Rights
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