Do you need time off work for pregnancy, childbirth, or parenting? If you work in Nevada, the federal Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) gives you the right to take unpaid leave for these reasons. And the federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) and Nevada law both prohibit your employer from discriminating against you because of your pregnancy, which may give you the right to take time off work, in some cases. In addition, Nevada state law gives parents of older children the right to take time off for certain school activities.
There are two types of laws that might protect you if you need pregnancy leave: laws prohibiting pregnancy discrimination and laws that require pregnancy leave.
The PDA does not require employers to give pregnant employees time off work. However, it does require employers to treat employees who are unable to work due to pregnancy just as it treats employees who are temporarily disabled for other reasons. For example, if your company lets employees take time off for other temporary disabilities, like broken bones or heart attacks, then it must allow pregnant employees to take the same time off when they are unable to work.
Nevada law includes this same protection. If an employer provides leave, paid or unpaid, to employees who are sick or have a disability relating to a medical condition, it must provide the same time off to pregnant employees. Employees must be allowed to use this type of leave before and after childbirth.
The FMLA gives eligible employees in Nevada the right to take up to 12 weeks off work in a one-year period for serious health conditions. Pregnancy is considered a serious health condition under the law. If you qualify, you may use the FMLA to take time off when you are unable to work because of your pregnancy and childbirth. You may also take FMLA leave for prenatal care, including routine check-ups and doctor visits.
The FMLA allows employees to take their leave intermittently, if it’s medically necessary. For example, if you have morning sickness that lives up to its name, you might need a few hours off in the morning, but be able to come to work by lunchtime.
The FMLA, however, applies only to employers with at least 50 employees. And employees are eligible for leave if they have worked for the employer for at least 12 months, for at least 1,250 hours during the 12 months immediately preceding their leave. (Learn more about the FMLA, including eligibility requirements, in our article on FMLA leave for pregnancy and disability.)
Some states have their own laws requiring family and medical leave, but Nevada is not one of them.
The FMLA gives employees in Nevada the right to take time off to bond with a new child, whether biological, adopted, or foster. This is part of the total 12-week FMLA leave entitlement. So, if you use eight weeks of FMLA leave for pregnancy and childbirth, you will have four weeks left to use for parenting leave.
You aren’t automatically entitled to use your parenting leave intermittently. If you want to use your parenting leave under the FMLA a little at a time, your employer must agree to it. If your employer agrees to let you use your parenting leave intermittently, you must finish your time off within one year after the baby is born.
If you are married to someone who works for the same company, your employer can limit your total amount of FMLA leave for parenting to 12 weeks for both of you. However, whatever portion of your own 12 weeks of FMLA leave you don’t use for parenting will still be available to you for other reasons, including your own serious health condition.
Nevada state law does not require employers to provide parenting leave for new parents. However, Nevada has a small necessities law, which requires employers with at least 50 employees to give parents of school-aged children time off. Parents may take up to four hours off per school year to attend school events, school activities, or parent-teacher conferences, or to volunteer at their children’s school.
FMLA leave is unpaid. However, you may ask – or your employer may require you – to use your accrued paid leave (like sick days, vacation, or PTO) to get paid during your time off. Nevada does not have a short-term disability insurance program as some other states do.
Your employer may also offer maternity and paternity leave benefits, parental benefits, or short-term disability insurance. Talk to your HR representative or manager (and check your employee handbook) to find out what types of leave are available to you.