7 Legal Tips for Working Parents

Managing a career while raising a family can present difficult challenges for many parents. These tips are designed to help working parents understand the laws that apply to time away from work and make the right decisions about benefits. Call your LegalShield provider law firm if you have any legal questions.

1. Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) — In the United States FMLA allows eligible employees to take a total of 12 workweeks of unpaid job-protected leave, in a 12-month period, for the birth or adoption of a child or to care for a sick child, spouse or parent. FMLA also allows 12 workweeks for you to recover from a serious illness that leaves you unable to perform essential functions of your job. Eligibility is based on how long you have worked for your employer and the number of workers they employ. Learn more about FMLA by reading the U.S. Department of Labor fact sheet. Additional benefits are available for families of injured service members. Some states mandate protections that exceed FMLA standards. Click here to learn more or contact your LegalShield provider law firm.

2. Employment Standards in Canada — In Canada employee leave is regulated by province or territory. Click here to learn more about the laws where you live or contact your LegalShield provider law firm.

3. Know Your Employer’s Leave Policies — Some policies may be governed by state, federal or provincial law while others may be at the discretion of your employer. When considering a new job, ask to review the leave and time away from work policies. Additional leave time, the way leave is calculated or the ability to work from home may be an extra incentive for working parents.

4. Review Health Coverage — Examine the costs and exclusions included in your health insurance plan. Adding a child or multiple children may be expensive. If both parents have employers offering insurance it is important to look beyond the monthly premium. How much are copays, deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums? Expectant parents should also understand the potential costs of labor and delivery and save accordingly.

5. Purchase Life Insurance — Life insurance is often more affordable when purchased through an employer. In most cases you cannot keep an employer sponsored policy when you leave. Carefully examine all of the options available and consider how much your children would need if something were to happen to you. It may be beneficial for women planning a pregnancy to purchase life insurance before becoming pregnant. Some health issues that may arise during or after pregnancy could affect the cost or ability to purchase insurance.

6. Consider Short- and Long-Term Disability Insurance — Working mothers should prepare for maternity leave by purchasing short-term disability insurance to cover any unpaid portion of their leave. This insurance generally needs to be purchased before becoming pregnant so plan accordingly. Long-term disability insurance is every bit as

vital as life insurance. An extended illness can be financially devastating. Before you sign up for any insurance have your LegalShield provider law firm review the terms.

7. Savings — It is important to save first for emergencies. Once you have enough savings to cover one to two months without income you should begin saving for your children’s education. There are multiple options for college savings such as prepaid tuition plans and tax-advantaged savings plans. Examine all of your options to find out which plan is best for your family. Your LegalShield provider law firm can help you understand the terms and legal ramifications involved in saving for college.

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