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A well-designed maternity leave form prevents confusion and disappointment.

Agreeing on the rules well in advance of the due date eases the strain on both mother and laboratory.

The key to a maternity leave policy that works successfully for the employee, her colleagues, and the employer is balance. The policy must comply with all relevant state laws and with institutional rules concerning time off. At the same time, since the course of pregnancy is not always fully predictable, the policy should remain flexible enough to take any unforeseen circumstances into account as they arise. It is incumbent on laboratory managers to make the leave pleasant for the mother while preserving a smooth workflow.

Under the medieval terminology that has been in legal use for some time, maternity leave is treated as disability leave and requires the same kinds of forms. The example presented here, annotated for managers with the rationale behind individual items, can be adapted for specific situations and laboratories.

As with all effective forms, the primary goal is to keep the format as simple as possible without sacrificing clarity or important detail. If the form your laboratory uses has been around for decades, or if you don't use one at all, perhaps this information will help inspire you to rethink your protocol and update it for the 1990s and beyond. A discussion with women on your staff who have taken maternity leave in the past and with any who anticipate doing so in the near future would help assure your constructing a form most appropriate for your laboratory.
COPYRIGHT 1992 Nelson Publishing
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Umiker, William O.; Yohe, Susan M.
Publication:Medical Laboratory Observer
Date:Jun 1, 1992
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