December 11, 2019

The Pregnancy Project

The US is the only developed country that does not offer paid maternity leave to new parents. Support for new families varies from the 1993 Family and Medical Leave Act, which offers job protection and mandates 12 weeks of unpaid leave, to private companies who provide paid leave maternity and paternity leave. In NY State, as of January 1, 2018, parents who work for private companies are eligible for 8 weeks of partial payment. 

In this episode of Yoga|Birth|Babies, I speak with employment litigator and founder of Berke-Weiss Law’s Pregnancy Project, Alex Berke. Alex breaks down benefits and entitlements for parental leave and how to discus your pregnancy with your employer. She also provides guidance for how to negotiate surprise hospital bills with your insurance company. Alex evens gives insight in becoming someone’s employer should you hire a nanny. Alex seamlessly delivers information that may be overwhelming and offers it in a very digestible way! 

In this episode:

  • Learn a bit about Alex and what brought her to this work.
  • What the is pregnancy project? 
  • What prompted Alex to start the pregnancy project? 
  • Breaking down the NY State maternity leave laws.
  • How companies accommodate it?
  • Making sure employees are getting money taken out of their check to pay into maternity leave.
  • How and when to discus your pregnancy with your employer.
  • Negotiating hospital bills with your insurance company. 
  • Should you call a lawyer to discus your bill and your rights? 
  • Obtaining a free breast pump

Hiring help- on the books or off? How do you figure out payroll for a nanny and do people need the labor law posters at home?

  • Does your nanny need to fill out a time card? 
  • One tip or piece of advice for new or expectant parents.
  • Finding Alex’s work and classes. 

About Alex:

Alex Berke is an employment litigator and provides advice and counsel on sexual harassment and discrimination cases, including pregnancy, disability, race and gender discrimination. Alex also provides advice and counsel regarding employer policies, health insurance and COBRA eligibility for employees and employers. Alex spearheads Berke-Weiss Law’s Pregnancy Project, providing pregnant women and families with the necessary tools to exercise their rights during and after pregnancy. Alex can be reached by email at

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