Does my business have to pay maternity leave benefits?

| Feb 18, 2020 | Leave |

One common Colorado employee complaint is companies who do not offer paid maternity leave. There are many types of leave you, as an employer, must provide for your employees. Your employee may have maternity leave, but your business does not necessarily have to provide benefits for that leave.

The FMLA applies to pregnancies and medical leave. The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment has not enacted laws specifically regarding maternity leave.  However, the federal government does allow employees to retain their position using the Family Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”). The FMLA is for a set amount of time determined by the federal government.

However, the law does not specify that a private sector business has to provide compensation for the leave. The employee may take FMLA while your business pays them based on the employer policy. This can include using vacation or sick time or taking unpaid leave.

The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment does require you to offer employees specific opportunities to rest such as mealtimes and breaks throughout the workday. You must compensate employees out for jury duty up to three days. Your business pays up to $50 in wages per day depending on the employee’s regular compensation.  In the event the employee earns more than $50 per day, the employer may elect to pay the serving employee their regular compensation.

Vacation, sick, disability and bereavement leave are subject to your discretion. You can decide how your business handles these types of leave and outline them in your employer policy. There are certain instances where federal law applies, so do be sure to check out the U.S. Department of Labor for more specifics.