Missouri Paternity & Maternity Leave Laws | FMLA

Parental leave laws in Missouri are like a box of chocolates. You never know how long it will last or how much money you might get – if any.

On one end of the spectrum, new parents working for the state or federal government have great benefits. They receive full pay and automatically qualify for FMLA.

Conversely, new parents working in the private sector may not be as lucky. Most receive no compensation and do not qualify for twelve weeks of FMLA.

However, short-term disability can alleviate some sting – if you take proactive steps before conception.  

Paid Family Leave in Missouri

Paid family leave laws in Missouri support government workers taking time off to bond with a newborn or adopted child. Meanwhile, the taxpayers funding this benefit in the private sector must fend for themselves.

Private Workers

Missouri does not have a paid family leave law covering employees working for private companies, even though they fund similar benefits for government personnel through their taxes.

Personal Loan

Taking out a personal loan is a reasonable option for parents working in the private sector to offset the lack of paid family leave in Missouri. The infusion of cash can bridge the gap while out of work.

Personal loans for maternity leave make it possible to spend more time bonding with your baby without worrying about bills. The precious time is fleeting.

Short-Term Disability

Missouri short-term disability for pregnancy is the only way for women working in the private industry to generate paid family leave benefits. However, she must take proactive steps.

Short-term disability insurance in Missouri is not mandatory as in a few other states. Therefore, future mothers should buy a policy to avoid pre-existing condition exclusions.

Women buying short-term disability before conception can file a claim and enjoy partial income replacement for three common scenarios.

  1. Complications of pregnancy before birth
  2. Recovery from labor and delivery
  3. Postpartum medical disorders that delay return to work

Collecting Unemployment

Collecting unemployment is a poor substitute for paid family leave because Missouri law excludes benefits for this purpose. Two universal criteria rule out this possibility.

  1. Physically able to work (not on pregnancy disability)
  2. Available for duty (not caretaking or bonding with baby)

However, Missouri unemployment law (Statute 288.050) allows women to collect benefits after maternity leave ends if they lose their jobs.

  • She was forced to quit her work because of her pregnancy
  • Notified her employer of such necessity as soon as practical
  • Returned to that employer and offered her services
    • As soon as she was physically able
    • No later than 90 days after the end of the pregnancy

State Employees

State government employees in Missouri enjoy paid parental leave funded by taxpayers in the private industry without a similar benefit.

Executive branch employees of the Missouri government qualify for the following paid parental leave benefits under Executive Order 17-09.

  • 100% of regular salary
  • Primary caregivers: six weeks
  • Secondary caregivers: three weeks

State government employees must take paid time off within twelve weeks of the birth or adoption of a child. You cannot bank or donate the benefit.

Federal Workers

Federal government employees working in Missouri enjoy paid parental leave courtesy of taxpayers nationwide. Eligible civilians receive 100% of their income for up to eight weeks.

The Federal Employee Paid Leave Act covers workers with twelve months of service, logging at least 1,250 hours in connection with a child’s birth or placement (for adoption or foster care).

Missouri parents working for the federal departments of Health & Human Services, Housing & Urban Development, Transportation, Energy, Education, Veterans Affairs, Homeland Security, and others may qualify.

FMLA Missouri Laws

The federal Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides legal rights to Missouri workers. The Show Me State has no supplementary regulation extending FMLA reach or length.

FMLA provides 12 weeks of unpaid legal job and health insurance protection for eligible employees working for covered employers.

FMLA Pay Requirements

The FMLA requirements for compensation in Missouri reflect the federal law because the Show Me State does not add extra stipulations. The time off is unpaid.

As noted above, getting paid while on FMLA is possible for many parents.

  • State government employees in the executive branch
  • Federal government civilian personnel
  • Women covered by short-term disability

FMLA Employer Guidelines

The FMLA employer guidelines in Missouri are no different than in other states because the law applies uniformly nationwide. Parents must work for a covered employer to enjoy twelve weeks of legal rights.

  • A private-sector employer with 50 or more employees in 20 or more workweeks
  • Public agency, regardless of the number of people it employs
  • Public or private elementary or secondary school, regardless of the number of people it employs

For example, most small businesses in the private sector do not meet these FMLA guidelines.

FMLA Employee Rules

The Missouri FMLA employee rules reflect the national standard for the same reason. Parents must meet the eligible employee criteria for twelve weeks of legal rights.

  • Worked for the employer for at least 12 months
  • Logged at least 1,250 hours of service in the last 12 months
  • Works at a location where the employer has at least 50 employees within a 75-mile radius

For example, most part-time, newly hired, and satellite employees do not meet these FMLA rules.

Maternity Leave in Missouri

Now that we have laid the groundwork, we can apply these laws to maternity leave in Missouri. As you will see, new mothers can have vastly different experiences depending on where they work and their choices before conception.  

Maternity Length

The answer to how long maternity leave lasts in Missouri has many possible correct responses, which you can divide further by legal job protections and compensation.

FMLA rules determine how long maternity leave job protections last.

Paid parental leave laws determine how long income replacement lasts.

  • Zero weeks: mothers in the private sector without short-term disability
  • Six weeks: state government employees
  • Eight weeks: federal government employees
  • Six to twenty-six weeks: women covered by short-term disability
    • Pregnancy disability before birth
    • Recovery from labor and delivery: 6 to 8
    • Postpartum medical disorders

Maternity Amount

The answer to how much money you get while on maternity leave in Missouri also has many possible correct answers.

  • 0%: mothers not covered by short-term disability
  • 66%: moms who purchased short-term disability before conception
  • 100%: mothers working for the state or federal government

You can get a short-term disability purchase approved while pregnant. However, the new policy will deny maternity leave benefits as a pre-existing condition. But it may cover accidents and illnesses, plus your subsequent pregnancy.

Paternity Leave in Missouri

Now that you understand the basics, we can apply these laws to paternity leave in Missouri. As you will see, new fathers also can have vastly different experiences depending on where they work, but with fewer options for compensation.

Paternity Length

The answer to how long paternity leave lasts in Missouri also has a wide range of correct responses across legal job protections and compensation.

FMLA rules determine how long paternity leave job protections last.

  • Twelve weeks under FMLA (56%)
    • Eligible employee
    • Covered employer
  • Zero weeks for everyone else (44%)
    • Ineligible employees
    • Uncovered employers

Paid parental leave laws determine how long income replacement lasts.

Paternity Amount

The answer to how much money you get while out on paternity leave in Missouri is most commonly zero, except for fathers working for the state or federal government, who receive 100% of their previous income.

Short-term disability does not cover the care of family members. Therefore, most fathers working in the private sector must take unpaid paternity leave.