One of the primary purposes of FMLA is to protect the bonding time between newborn and parents. This leave purpose is specifically identified as a reason for FMLA leave. Bonding with a newborn child can seem like a feelgood ideal rather than a medical necessity. Medical studies identify physical and emotional development directly related to bonding that can affect the child’s entire life.
Theresa Stewart Moran details the significance of this bonding, particularly for infants who require neonatal intensive care, in her 2014 piece published in 21st Century Social Justice. The focus of her analysis is on the relationship between low income workers who are most at risk of giving birth to a child who requires neonatal intensive care but the significance of the bonding time can be applied broadly to all people. The role of bonding is critical for neonatal development for all children.
FMLA for newborns in Texas
However, the importance of FMLA leave for newborn bonding goes beyond the physical and emotional bonding. FMLA requires the employer continue employer-sponsored benefits during the leave time as though the employee continued working during leave. That, importantly, ensures that health insurance benefits continue during the bonding period. The ACA (aka Obamacare) obligates many employers to sponsor health insurance benefits for employees. This increases increase the value of FMLA leave for new parents who likely require health care. Employers who cut off benefits during FMLA leave violate the employee’s FMLA rights. Even if the employer grants the FMLA leave without reservation.
Employment attorneys for FMLA
Although many employers have maternity leave policies that provide voluntary leave for pregnancy and post-birth child care, there are still many employers who do not provide leave protections or do not honor their maternity leave policies. FMLA is a critical stopgap for this important bonding period. If your employer interfered with your rights to take FMLA leave for pregnancy or childbirth or stopped your employee benefits during an FMLA-protected leave then contact employment attorneys right away.