pregnancy and benefits

My husband and I are wanting to try and start our family. I am graduating from college in December and I have had a few job offers from other companies where their benefits are set to start on day 1. If I get pregnant before I start a new job, will their insurance have to cover my maternity care and short term disability? I have heard that the FMLA does not have to cover me if I am not employed for one year. Does this mean they can fire me? Thanks for your help!

1 answer  |  asked Nov 1, 2004 7:24 PM [EST]  |  applies to Arizona

Answers (1)

Francis Fanning
possible pregnancy raises 2 questions, 3 answers

Although you only asked two questions, there are three answers. First, what is covered by group health insurance is, to a large extent, governed by the terms of the particular policy. Policies sometimes exclude preexisting conditions for a period of time. However, 29 U.S.C. 1181(d)3 prohibits a group health insurer from treating pregnancy as a preexisting condition. So you will be entitled to whatever coverage the policy has for pregnancy and childbirth.
Second, you are correct that FMLA coverage doesn't begin until you have worked for a year, and there are a number of other circumstances in which FMLA does not protect certain employees.
This does not mean, however, that the employer may simply fire you with impunity. Although you will probably be an "at will" employee, and have no more job security than anyone else (in other words, none), an employer may not fire you because of your pregnancy. Pregnancy discrimination is treated the same as sex discrimination, which is unlawful for any employer with 15 or more employees. Both the Arizona Civil Rights Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibit it.

posted by Francis Fanning  |  Nov 2, 2004 3:50 PM [EST]

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