What to do if my wife is 34 weeks pregnant and has an appointment at to attend a birthing class but her boss won’t let her?

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What to do if my wife is 34 weeks pregnant and has an appointment at to attend a birthing class but her boss won’t let her?

Does she have any rights in this situation?

Asked on June 14, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Maryland

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

No, she does probably not have any rights to attend a birthing class during work hours (though if she has vacation or comp time, she should be entitled to use it):

1) The Family and Medical Leave Act and the similar laws that many states have provide unpaid time off for medical care or the birth (or post-birth care) of a child; but attending a birthing class is not itself birth, and it is not necessary medical care (i.e. care for an injury or illness).

2) An employer may not discriminate agaist women for being pregnant--but it is not discrimination to not let your wife take time off this class *unless* it is the case that the employer has let employers take time off for non-pregnancy, non-work related classes in the past (e.g. for personal training; for a writing workshop; etc.). If people could take time off for non-pregnancy related classes, then barring your wife from the birthing class could be discrimination.


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