Section 105D. A female employee who has completed the initial probationary period set by the terms of her employment or, if there is no such probationary period, has been employed by the same employer for at least three consecutive months as a full-time employee, who is absent from such employment for a period not exceeding eight weeks for the purpose of giving birth or for adopting a child under the age of eighteen or for adopting a child under the age of twenty-three if the child is mentally or physically disabled, said period to be hereinafter called maternity leave, and who shall give at least two weeks’ notice to her employer of her anticipated date of departure and intention to return, shall be restored to her previous, or a similar, position with the same status, pay, length of service credit and seniority, wherever applicable, as of the date of her leave. Said maternity leave may be with or without pay at the discretion of the employer.
Such employer shall not be required to restore an employee on maternity leave to her previous or a similar position if other employees of equal length of service credit and status in the same or similar position have been laid off due to economic conditions or other changes in operating conditions affecting employment during the period of such maternity leave; provided, however, that such employee on maternity leave shall retain any preferential consideration for another position to which she may be entitled as of the date of her leave.
Such maternity leave shall not affect the employee’s right to receive vacation time, sick leave, bonuses, advancement, seniority, length of service credit, benefits, plans or programs for which she was eligible at the date of her leave, and any other advantages or rights of her employment incident to her employment position; provided, however, that such maternity leave shall not be included, when applicable, in the computation of such benefits, rights, and advantages; and provided, further, that the employer need not provide for the cost of any benefits, plans, or programs during the period of maternity leave unless such employer so provides for all employees on leave of absence. Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect any bargaining agreement or company policy which provides for greater or additional benefits than those required under this section.
A notice of this provision shall be posted in every establishment in which females are employed.
For the purposes of this section, an “employer” shall be defined as in subsection 5 of section one of chapter one hundred and fifty-one B.