Maternity Leave in Iowa – The Basics

By : Jon Garner

Employers are often confused about what is required of them when an employee has a child. Under Iowa law, an employer with four (4) or more employees must allow eight weeks of unpaid leave if the employee is disabled due to pregnancy or childbirth. However, the analysis does not end here. An employer must next determine whether they are subject to the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”), which is a federal statute that establishes additional rights and responsibilities for both employers and employees.

To be subject to the FMLA, an employer must employ more than fifty (50) people.  An employee seeking leave under FMLA may be entitled to twelve (12) weeks of unpaid leave. To qualify for maternity leave under the FMLA, an employee must have worked at least 1,250 hours during the twelve-month period preceding his/her maternity leave and must have worked at least twelve (12) total months over the past seven years for the employer.

These are only a few of the things all employers should consider when dealing with an employee seeking maternity leave.  If you have questions or concern regarding how your company should handle this type of situation or if you would like assistance implementing a comprehensive maternity leave policy, we can help.


Jon’s caseload often includes matters pertaining to business, family law, civil litigation, criminal matters and mediation. Regardless of the type of case, he believes in helping clients find common ground as they work toward resolution. You can read more about him or get in touch here.