or Connect
Mothering › Groups › July 2012 Birth Club › Discussions › Maternity leave VENT

Maternity leave VENT

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 

bawling.gif

 

Just a vent after a tough afternoon of email exchanges. I'm a professor at a public university that does not offer paid maternity leave. There are other universities that do give professors a term/semester off teaching, with pay, after the birth of a child, but not mine. I really hate this country and its lack of protection for maternity leave (in all other civilized countries, this is GUARANTEED by the government). But I knew this, and then went and got my hopes up that I could use my sick leave and borrow unearned sick leave for the remainder of the 11-odd weeks of my FMLA leave...other colleagues have told me that they'd done this... But the HR people are being real PITAs about it, and I think I just lost my last possible appeal about this gloomy.gif

 

So I'll be going back to my crazy schedule teaching two classes when the new baby is only 2 months old. What a depressing thought.

 

Any other working mamas in the same boat? Or are you getting paid maternity leave? How are you dealing with the upcoming birth?

post #2 of 26

no experience here but man, I'm so sorry you're dealing with this

 

 

and I totally agree with the hatred of this country not caring about mother and baby bonding and healing time postpartum if the mother has a job.

post #3 of 26
Thread Starter 
post #4 of 26
I am a work outside the house mom, too. I work in an office that is 9-5. I started when DS was 1. I had only been working 1.5 yrs here when DD was born and got paid partial for disability only 6been wks, even after C. I took the rest of my FMLA unpaid. This time, I am here 5 years and they are a little more flexible. My plan is to take 10 weeks off and then 3 months working halftime...at half pay. We are planning/hoping to have an au pair starting in Sept. I am not looking forward to pumping at work. I was spoiled with DD. I put her in day care and it's next door to my office. I walked over to nurse her "on demand". They would call me whenever she was hungry. But the program is too expensive considering tuition went up and this is our 3rd. Even though DS is in school, he will still need after school care.

Sorry to mix child care with mat leave, but they kind of go together, right?
post #5 of 26

I'm a working soon-to-be mother. I am from the US, but I moved to Canada about 5 or 6 years ago. We get 1 year paid maternity leave through the government. It's pretty much expected that women will use the entire year, too, so no one gets their panties in a bunch about it. Even cooler, if you want, you can split the 52 weeks with your partner and each use a part of it. Granted, the pay for that year is about the same as getting an unemployment check (still more than it would be in the US at that) but at least it's something. 

 

I feel for you, XanaduMama. I think my lucky stars every day that I got a job offer in Vancouver and decided to become an official Canadian resident. I think it's horrible how the US treats maternity leave. I was reading on one of the other forums the other day that one woman is only being allowed to take 1 week off after her birth. I know that's not even legal, but I bet that won't stop her employer from doing it just the same.

post #6 of 26

Sorry, XanaduMama. Maternity leave in the U.S. does suck. I work part-time for my metro government, and don't even qualify for FMLA leave. There is another option for me, but our union won that for us, it's not that the city just wanted to be nice. (From what I understand, anyway.) It requires jumping through hoops and lots of paperwork and I can't use unearned time for any of it, but I will have a couple of months of earned time off if I can avoid taking anymore days off between now and then. Such an irritating thing to have to deal with. It is astounding that universities, supposedly places of free-thinking progress, are as backward as the rest of the country in this regard, though.

post #7 of 26

I just wanted to say that I am right there with you ladies...  :(  I work at an 8-5 job (although lately it's been more like a 7 - 7pm job- ugh), and it's totally depressing that I'll have to be back to work full time only 12 weeks after baby is born.  For the first 6 weeks, I'll get 60% of my salary because I opted into Short Term Disability coverage, but for the last 6 weeks it will be all unpaid leave covered by FMLA.  That will be really hard on us financially.  Sigh.  But I really can't believe that some of you other ladies aren't even getting the tiny amount of FMLA leave - that is completely and totally wrong and unfair!

 

There are a lot of things that are wrong with the US, but I feel like the way it treats mothers and families has got to be one of the worst.  Our prenatal and health care system needs a ton of work, as do our policies on maternity leave.  It seems like the government flat doesn't care about one of the most important things of all - the process of creating new citizens!

post #8 of 26

I've got short term disability coverage that covers 60% of my salary and I, luckily, opted for the buy-up option at our last benefits enrollment period so I'll be getting 80% for as long as our insurance carrier approves- I think it's typically 6-8 weeks. I've got around 200 hours of paid time off I can use, too- so I'm well covered there. My issue is that there's a lot of pressure on people in my position (unspoken, of course!) to return to work at about the 6-8 month mark and I'm sad that I don't feel like I can ask for my legally protected 12 weeks. However, I'm the primary income earner for my family and have been with the same company for 17 years, so I just don't feel like I can push it. On the upside, DH will be able to bring the babe to work so I can nurse, etc. I agree... There just isn't the support to really care for a newborn approprirately and that speaks volumes about our choices as a society, doesn't it?

post #9 of 26

I'm so sorry OP. I'm pretty sure I know where you work and yeah, I've heard awful things. I was looking at them since we wanted to come back to PDX after finishing my program but between the pay and other factors, it was pretty obvious there was a serious trade off for living in an awesome place :(

post #10 of 26
Thread Starter 
It's actually a great place to be, apart from the administration smile.gif The students are fantastic, my colleagues are terrific--it's a wonderful place to work (as a professor, doing what I do--not sure about the classified employees). The good news is that I've sicced the union on them--apparently they've been looking for an excuse to push this issue, and are going to use me as a test case. I'm not holding my breath, but we'll see.

I do have both sick leave and short-term disability this year, but the disability is only good for the 6w postpartum period. I'm not technically "working" in July/Aug, since we get paid over 9mo (though summers are always frantically busy with research), but am trying to take the fall term off teaching. That would begin when baby's around 2mo. So I'm lucky to be able to stay home for those first 8 w or so (though unpaid, as always in the summer)--and we obviously planned it that way--it's infuriating that I don't get any relief from actual work (which to them = teaching).

But hi to another Portland mama! Whereabout do you live?
post #11 of 26
Not exactly the same thing, but my mom is a middle school teacher and when she had surgery over the summer (and only gets paid over the school year) she was encouraged to submit for disability and was paid for her period of disability.
post #12 of 26

Ladies - I am so with you here. I have been trying not to focus on the maternity leave issues I have; it makes me so depressed. I'm hoping that I can miraculously quit my job when the baby comes.... but as we did not win powerball last night looks like I'm stuck living with the inadequate allowance of maternity leave we receive.... specifically in MA. Looks like STD (at 60% of my pay) for up to 4 weeks before and 6 weeks after.... then I'm going to be forced to use all my PTO (which I would like to save and modify my schedule when I go back) because we cannot afford to not have any income for the following 6 weeks that I can take without penalty thorugh FMLA. ARG.

 

All you US-mamas with issues out there - FMLA is the law in all states if I'm not mistaken - you are by law allowed to take 12 weeks off without pay in a 12 month period and your employer has to not penalize you - I know that we could not afford 12 weeks unpaid, but the law is there, not necessarily the best one, but at least it's something (and dad's can use it too): http://www.dol.gov/whd/fmla/

 

I'm not a particulary political gal, but I would love to reform the US postion on maternity leave. I don't even know where to start though :(

 

post #13 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lbkw View Post

Not exactly the same thing, but my mom is a middle school teacher and when she had surgery over the summer (and only gets paid over the school year) she was encouraged to submit for disability and was paid for her period of disability.

This is very interesting! Thanks for sharing your mom's experience...I'm definitely going to look into this. Maybe I can at least get some $$ in the summer to help cover any lost income if I take the fall off. Will call tomorrow and let y'all know what I find out.
post #14 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by XanaduMama View Post


This is very interesting! Thanks for sharing your mom's experience...I'm definitely going to look into this. Maybe I can at least get some $$ in the summer to help cover any lost income if I take the fall off. Will call tomorrow and let y'all know what I find out.


 I don't know what you found out but I asked my mom about this and she said though she only gets paid during the school year, her contract is September thru August.

post #15 of 26

Is taking sabbatical an option? My DP is a professor at a public university, he is taking a sabbatical in the fall.

post #16 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ArtsyMomma View Post

Is taking sabbatical an option? My DP is a professor at a public university, he is taking a sabbatical in the fall.


Alas, no--as at most institutions, we only get a sabbatical every 6 years, and only after tenure. I've got a few years to go still.

The short-term disability thing is a no-go, unfortunately--one has to be "working" to take it, and since we're not on contract in the summer, it's not an option. Good thought, though!
post #17 of 26

I am in a similar situation.  I work part time so I don't have the hours to qualify for the 6-8 weeks paid disability (depending if these babes are vaginal or c-sect).  It's really frustrating because I will only be about 40 hours shy over the course of the whole last year!!  But it sounds like they wont budge by giving me a few extra hours before hand or letting it be "close enough".  I think I can take the time, just with no pay :(

post #18 of 26
If I understand correctly FMLA only covers companies that have 50 or more employees. I work for a small business (only 8 employees) and technically they don't have to give me anything. Luckily I can take my sick and vacation (which are paid) and after that they would probably let me take unpaid leave. Still that is only about 6 weeks- which is better than when I had my son Felix (he just turned 3!), I only had 4 weeks off before I went back full time. I realize how priviledged I was though, because my husband stayed home & would bring Felix in whenever he was hungry. Also- I had a space to pump which was great.
post #19 of 26

Reviving this thread on the news that my benefits might be in jeopardy when I return to work temporarily part time. So annoying because it's not about the $ for the company, but the accounting people are so set on the "rules" and the partners of the company are so flexible. I am waiting to find out what 3 months of part time is going to cost me! Ick.

post #20 of 26

That really stinks, lbkw.  :(  I'm sorry.  Hopefully they can work something out for you.  If not, is there any chance you can get on your hubby's insurance?  I'm going to have to do that soon,  it kind of works out honestly because his insurance is better than mine.  But I hate having to go back and forth!

  Return Home
  Back to Forum: July 2012 Birth Club
Mothering › Groups › July 2012 Birth Club › Discussions › Maternity leave VENT