Thought it might be a good idea to get on here and let you know what I’ve learned about Kentucky’s maternity leave law. I found out most of this info on Kentucky’s Department of Labor web site. Hope it helps for all of you out there wondering what the details are!
Basically, there are no laws in Kentucky guaranteeing job protection or benefits for new parents. Pregnant women and new parents are, however, protected by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act and also by the Family Medical Leave Act.
Both of these laws are federal laws. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act makes it illegal for employers to fire, refuse to hire, or deny a woman a promotion because she’s pregnant. Basically, she must be treated just like anyone else in the company! This goes for sick leave and disability too. If a company offers these things to other employees, then it also must offer them for pregnancy-related issues.
The Family Medical Leave Act allows private or public sector employees 12 weeks of unpaid leave to, among other things, take care of a newborn baby or newly adopted child. If you plan to take advantage of this act you have to work for an employer with more than 50 employees in a 75-mile radius.
Be aware that taking some time off after our pregnancy under this act doesn’t guarantee that your job will be held. In fact, a provision under the FLMA, designed to ease economic hardships for companies who are missing key employees, states that it is completely legal for key employees to be terminated during leave. You are considered a key employee if you are in the top 10 percent of highest paid employees.
On an interesting note though, there is one area in which Kentucky has a leave law, aside from the federal law, that applies to employees of companies under 50. It has to do with adoption, and actually it covers all employees in Kentucky. It allows unpaid leave for the adoption of children under the age of 7.