September 29, 2020

Can Pregnancy and Maternity Affect Whether You Get A Home Loan

Going on a leave might not leave someone feeling as secure as one might of felt in the past. Although various laws and regulations have been put in place to help provide confidence and comfort to anyone needing to take time off from work, there are still areas that seems to fall through the cracks. At this point in time there is the Family and Medical Leave Act that allows an employee to take an unpaid leave for a specified amount of time for certain medical or family issues where their employer should treat them as if they had never taken a leave. So thanks to this act many people who need to go on leave know that they will not be punished for taking a leave.

Recently however, a couple of situations arose that rock the boat in regards to taking leaves and the security that many thought they had is a bit shaky. The issues that have been brought to public attention right now deal with the ability to be able to acquire a loan while on maternity leave. The first situation dealt with a doctor who was at first approved for a loan was later denied because they found out that she was on maternity leave. This doctor was able to settle with Cornerstone Mortgage since it was an obvious violation of the Fair Housing Act. The second situation involved a married couple who were denied a mortgage because they could not get a guarantee from insurance “unless and until the wife returned to work from maternity leave.” Housing and Urban Development’s assistant secretary stated that the stance for mortgages is clear when it comes to maternity leave is clear and that there should not be any discrimination against pregnant women.

Can Pregnancy and Maternity Affect Whether You Get A Home Loan

Although it seems like it is common sense to be fair toward pregnant women and not to use their pregnancy against them, Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner, executive director of MomsRising, states that it is a rather common problem, just not very publicized. MomsRising is an organization that advocates on behalf of mothers when it comes to motherhood and other family issues. Rowe-Finkbeiner stated that a big problem with this is that people choose to assume that women will not go back to work after maternity leave, however, with the way the economy is, most women do go back to work.

The banks associated with both of these issues have stated that they have no specific training guidelines when it comes to maternity leave and did not specifically state to deny these applications. The information is currently being reviewed to make sure it is in compliance with the Fair Housing Act. In the meantime there may be many more individuals out there who went through the same thing.

Department of labor page on FMLA

HUD’s Fair Housing Act page

Website for momsrising

HUD wikipedia page

How to Take Maternity Leave From Your Job

For most people, caring for a newborn baby or new child in the family is a full time job and requires taking some time away from your job–maternity leave, or parental leave. Can you afford to do that? Will your employer allow you to be gone from work for days, possibly weeks?

When you need to take planned or unplanned time off from work to care for a child, there are a few benefit options available to you, as an employee:

  • Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
  • Your state’s FMLA
  • Short-term Disability
  • Employer’s maternity/parental leave policy, vacation, and other paid time off alternatives.

FMLA and Maternity Leave

The federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides you with the legal right to take unpaid leave from your job for maternity leave. In today’s diverse workplaces, where men may be required to help out at home and spouse/partner arrangements vary, the term “maternity leave” is often partnered with “paternity leave,” or replaced altogether with “parental leave.” These inclusive terms represent a wide range of individuals and circumstances, including:

  • New mothers
  • New fathers
  • Individuals and couples adopting a child
  • Individuals and couples with a new foster child
  • Anyone playing the role of primary caregiver to a child

Under the federal FMLA guidelines, you may take up to 12 weeks of leave over the course of the first year of a newborn’s life or the first year you have an adopted or foster child in your care. You are not required to take this time all at once and may make arrangements with your employer to be gone from work on parental leave at various times throughout the year.

What you need to know about FMLA:

  • If your employer has 50+ employees they are required to provide Family and Medical Leave, including maternity leave.
  • To qualify for FMLA, you must have been working for your employer for at least 12 months, or clocked 1250 hours of time in one year.
  • Maternity leave under FMLA is unpaid time off, but your employer may allow you to use some of your accrued paid time off or have other time off policies in place that permit you to use vacation time.
  • You are expected to give your employer 30 days notice at least if you will be taking maternity leave under the FMLA.

Other than the federal FMLA your state government also enforces separate FMLA benefits, which could be bundled with enhanced maternity and paternity leave options. But your employer may also have a special maternity or parental leave policy in place that’s even better than the federal FMLA.

Getting Paid While You’re on Maternity Leave

In some cases you may be able to use short-term disability to ensure an income while you are on maternity leave. Remember, under the federal FMLA, your employer is not required to pay you for the time you take away from the job. Check with your employer or human resources department for information on all your maternity leave options.

How To Take Maternity Leave From Your Job

Maternity leave is a legal guarantee for all women who are employed in businesses that qualify under the Family and Medical Leave Act 1993, otherwise known as the FMLA. It is important to note that not every company is required to grant time off under this act, it would be useful to familiarize yourself with a deeper understating of the regulations so that you can be certain that you will not suffer any discrimination or loss of secure employment.

Maternity Leave

The Family and Medical Leave Act was passed into law by Congress in the early nineties to ensure that the occupations of new mothers were protected. Also it covers leave for sickness to an individual or a close family member.

It is stated in the FMLA that all employees who fall under the remit of this law are obliged to agree to the granting of twelve weeks unpaid leave during any twelve month period if the applicant is submitting a request due to the “birth and care of a newborn child”. By enacting this law you can have peace of mind that after the allotted time is over you will be able to return to work and take up your previous position and salary.

The FMLA is a federal law so it applies in each of the states though there may also be other maternity leave regulations in place in your location. Make sure you research into the other rules that govern maternity leave in your state so that you can be provided the maximum amount of assistance and benefit.

It is worth noting that not every business in the country is obliged to abide by the guidelines set out in the Family and Medical Leave Act. It is stated in the regulations that only those companies that have more than fifty employees on their books and who have worked a minimum of twenty weeks a year are required to grant leave under the FMLA.

There is a clause for public sector workers whereby there is no minimum or maximum limit on the size of the workforce for the act to come into force. Unfortunately if you work for a small family run business that has less than fifty employees they do not have to grant you FMLA maternity leave.

There is another clause in the act which suggests that if you have not been employed by the employer for the last twelve months you are not eligible for leave under the current rules. Such clauses are there to stop abuse of the system rather than make it difficult for employees.

It must be noted that there is no obligation for the employer to make payments to new mothers during their leave, this would only occur if they have built up paid vacation time that they would like to cash in after the birth of a child. If you require more time than twelve weeks leave this would have to be negotiated with the employer personally as no such obligation is set out under the FMLA.
Additional resource links: http://www.unh.edu/