Can I Quit My Job After Maternity Leave?
Maternity leave is a great time to bond with a newborn – and adjust to life as a new mom. But, the transition back to work can be overwhelming, too. So, you may be asking yourself, “Can I quit my job after maternity leave?”
Federal and State Law Overview
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) requires employers with 50 or more employees to offer paid and unpaid maternity leave to eligible moms and dads. Most states also offer their own protections for new and expectant parents. So, any type of job dismissal due to maternity leave is typically illegal.
What Are Your Rights?
Under the FMLA, qualified employees are guaranteed the right to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave and can return to their job under the same terms and conditions.
Additionally, your state may offer additional protections that extend the total leave period. A few states also offer paid leave benefits.
Things to Consider Before Quitting
It can be very tempting to quit your job immediately after a maternity leave. But, there are a few things to consider first:
- Financial security: You may be giving up benefits such as health insurance, being able to contribute to a retirement plan, and other financial perks.
- Timing: Depending on your workplace, you may be better off quitting after a few months in order to ensure that you get all of the benefits, such as unused vacation time.
- Costs of Quitting: It is important to consider the costs associated with quitting, such as the potential loss of unemployment insurance and the impact on your future job search.
At the end of the day, the decision is completely up to you. But, it is important to weigh all of your options before making a final decision.