Family & Medical Leave Act for Montana Surrogates

Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a federal law that guarantees certain employees who have been with certain companies for 12 months and have worked at least 1,250 hours during that 12 months the right to take 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected family or medical leave per year. The employee must also work at a location where the company employs 50 or more employees within 75 miles. Whether an employee has worked the minimum 1,250 hours of service is determined according to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) principles for determining compensable hours or work. You will need to check with your employer if this applies to you before you take leave.

I often get questions about maternity leave for surrogates. Most of the people asking assume that FMLA does not apply to surrogates because they don’t have a baby to take care of—so why not go right back to work? Well, many reasons! A woman’s body actually takes about a year to fully recover from pregnancy and childbirth. Surrogates need time to heal after the birth and if the surrogate is pumping breastmilk, she will be busy pumping every couple of hours to get a decent milk supply. Thus, FMLA does apply to surrogates. if it does apply at all The fact that we don’t get a year of paid maternity and paternity leave in this country baffles me.

You might want to consider negotiating lost wages in your gestational carrier agreement regardless of FMLA protection since it's unpaid. This is standard at some agencies but if it's important to you, make sure to make that clear before matching. 

FMLA also applies to parents having a child through surrogacy. FMLA states that both a mother and a father can take up to 12 weeks unpaid to bond with their child if they meet the requirements necessary to receive FMLA.

Amber Campanelli ~ The Honest Surrogate