Finding out you are pregnant can be a wonderful thing for your family. It is a joyous time where you get to plan to bring a new life into this world. However, if you work, you may start to worry about your finances as it nears time to deliver your baby. Unless your Kentucky employer voluntarily offers paid maternity leave, you are looking at six to eight weeks of time off without pay, or worse, you will have to return to work before you are really physically ready to do so in order to not lose much-needed income. There has long been a fight to make paid family leave something mandatory in the U.S., but it often gets held up in Congress. However, Time explains that this may be changing and paid family leave could very well be in the near future.
Many European countries already offer paid family leave. Some offer full pay for months of time off. The general medical opinion is that women need six to eight weeks of rest after having a baby, but as a new mother, you will probably get the sense that the amount of time is not nearly enough. So much happens in those early days and weeks that it is difficult to leave your child.
However, because the U.S. does not have mandatory paid family leave, most employers will allow you to take the time off, but you will not get paid unless you have benefits or vacation time that they allow you to collect during this time. Most employers also will only give you as much time off as your doctor says you need. Once your doctor clears you, you must go back to work or your job is at risk.
With the current suggestion to implement paid family leave in the country, there is a feeling that this time it may pass and become law. There is one main reason for this, and that is that both sides, Democrats and Republicans, show support for it. When you can get both sides to agree on something, that is not only rare but also means it could very well become reality. This information is for education only and is not legal advice.