or Connect
Mothering › Groups › December 2012 Due Date Club › Discussions › Announcing Pregnancy to Boss - Your Experiences?

Announcing Pregnancy to Boss - Your Experiences?

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 

I am getting close to the time that I will announce my pregnancy to my bosses and am feeling kind of nervous about it. I work for a small company and am fairly high up on the totem poll, so my leave will definitely be felt by everyone, particularly my bosses. I do plan on returning to work, but at reduced hours. I am thinking that this might be a genuine shock to my bosses (even in this day and age, even in the  San Francisco Bay Area, being a lesbian means that there is less of an expectation that you will reproduce), especially since I have had pretty mild m/s I have been able to hide it from them. 

 

Anyway, I am wondering about the experiences of those of you who have been through this before. Good experiences? Bad ones? 

post #2 of 22

Thanks for posting this thread! I'm definitely curious as well. I work at a small office too, and only one co-worker (who is a friend) knows. The things that's trickier for me is that I have to tell them I'm pregnant before I tell them that we're moving to the UK in three months (I can't tell them about the move until the visas are approved), which means I need to tell them and have some sort of "plan" for how I'll transition back, etc. I have no idea what to tell them. I'm thinking I'll have a plan for the typical amount of leave, then do a few weeks half in/half out of the office, then do work from home two days a week.

 

But then, should I even bother? Might just be easier to tell them I plan to come back full-time and not have to negotiate about it. I do want to leave the door open for some consulting/freelance after we move, but I'll cross that bridge when I tell them about the move. 

 

Definitely curious to hear others' experiences!

post #3 of 22

I work part time in a non-profit setting.  I've already told the other staff members, but will not tell the larger organization (who are actually my 'bosses') until after 12 weeks.  This is similar to the situations I've been in with my other three kids, too.  Because it is a VERY small staff, and we recently had another staff person out on maternity leave, most potential 'issues' have already been worked out.  I know what the policy is, I know what I plan to do, and I'm reasonably sure that everyone will be fine with what I want.  So I guess I'm lucky.  

 

I think it's really important not to be apologetic or accept blame.  Your baby is a NEW PERSON and that is more important - REALLY - than any work project.  Hopefully that is how others will respond, too, but if not it can help to keep it in your own mind as a mantra, anyway.

 

Chica, I think I'd just tell them you aren't sure yet what you want to do.  They aren't going to hire a temporary replacement before you'd be telling them you're leaving anyway, right?  

post #4 of 22

 I work iin HR and maternity leave is a PROTECTED leave, noone can even wince! However, i am feeling just like the rest of you, i know my absence will impact my team, and they will have to do all my work while i am gone. But mamabeakley is right, we are growing a new person inside of us, and thats more important than any job or any project would ever be!!!!

post #5 of 22

FMLA only protects people who work for companies with 50 or more employees. Maternity leave is NOT always protected by every employer. I don't say this to scare anyone, but it is the reality. I worked for a small office--2 doctors, 2 therapists {1 was myself}, a receptionist and the Bosses Wife acting as office Manager--and I would not have had protected Maternity leave, even unpaid. My plan was to return to work 6 days a week {my schedule was varied hours} at 4 weeks PP and DH and I were going to trade off on our DD since he worked nights. I was not able to return at 4 weeks and when I asked more time I was told that I needed to come back within another 'few' weeks or they would have to hire someone and they did. It worked out fine for us, my DD and I weren't ready to be separated for almost a year anyways, but I did freak out about it at the time wondering how in the World we would make it financially. I didn't want to give up my job/career as an LMT especially since I worked less than 40 hours weekly.

When you tell your employers you don't have to have it all figured out right then and even if you do, it may change. The best thing is to let them know that you will be following your kiddos cues and that it will likely need to be negotiated along the way after babe is born. 

post #6 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamaharrison View Post

FMLA only protects people who work for companies with 50 or more employees. Maternity leave is NOT always protected by every employer. I don't say this to scare anyone, but it is the reality. 

 

You are right. . I think this is a good reminder that we should all know what our rights are in our particular state before we discuss plans with our employers. Luckily, I live in a state that guarantees paid leave (of course I will only get a portion of my pay). I think it is ridiculous that we don't have guaranteed paid leave on a federal level - says so much about our priorities in this country.

post #7 of 22

This is really interesting. I thought every state at least offered short term disability for maternity. I was working with my first pregnancy and the state paid me STD for the 4 weeks prior to my due date and the 6 weeks after. My understanding was that my employer had to hold my spot for those 10 weeks and that I couldn't be discriminated against because of a "disability" (which I always hated saying because I wasn't disabled). 

 

I know the FMLA had different rules applied but I thought every state offered STD to every pregnant woman. Interesting. I guess I was lucky.

post #8 of 22

No, STD is definitely not in every state.  And, for example, my employer doesn't pay into STD, they 'self-fund' so even if pregnancy was covered in my state (which I don't think is true) I wouldn't be covered.  Fortunately, I get 6 weeks paid leave, another 6 unpaid if I want it, plus my employer will be flexible about my using other accumulated leave.  Since I work part time and I've done this 3 times before, I don't plan to take more than 6 weeks away - baby can come with me to work so going to work isn't really more stressful than being home with 3 other kids to care for!  But it's good to know that if something were wrong I could.  And be supported.  I feel very lucky, and worry about mamas who don't have the financial ability to take more time away.  One of my sisters-in-law went back to school (nursing school) at 2 weeks pp.  It was her second baby and she managed - he nursed until he was 2 - but . . . so, so stressful for her and the baby.

post #9 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by tropicana74 View Post

 

 

I know the FMLA had different rules applied but I thought every state offered STD to every pregnant woman. Interesting. I guess I was lucky.

I have no idea what STD is--never heard of it. I live in Florida and we have NO protection for anything here--seriously. Right to Work state= if they don't want you to work there they can fire you for anything {and DO!} and get away with it just fine.

It is terrible to have to worry about how you will make ends meet when you are pregnant AND after the baby comes. There is really no Federal Protection either since the FMLA has so many loopholes. 

post #10 of 22

STD = Short Term Disability

 

This makes me really sad to hear that not everyone is offered this for giving birth! Some of my friends who had high blood pressure or bed rest were able to go on STD for even longer than the 10 weeks that I got. I ended up not going back to work but my position was held for me while I was gone. I didn't care much about the 4 weeks before birth but the 6 weeks after were definitely necessary (my friends with c-sections got 8 weeks afterward). Just with the post partum bleeding and recovering from tears and being able to establish breastfeeding and balance out those crazy hormones before having to go back to work....everyone should have that!! greensad.gif

post #11 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by tropicana74 View Post

STD = Short Term Disability

 

This makes me really sad to hear that not everyone is offered this for giving birth! Some of my friends who had high blood pressure or bed rest were able to go on STD for even longer than the 10 weeks that I got. I ended up not going back to work but my position was held for me while I was gone. I didn't care much about the 4 weeks before birth but the 6 weeks after were definitely necessary (my friends with c-sections got 8 weeks afterward). Just with the post partum bleeding and recovering from tears and being able to establish breastfeeding and balance out those crazy hormones before having to go back to work....everyone should have that!! greensad.gif

 I also, had  no idea that there are states that do not offer STD. I am in VA and maternity leave is a protected leave by law, every employer has to offer , it maybe without pay dependng on the company you work for, but you are guaranteed a comparable position upon your return to work.

post #12 of 22

This has recently been going viral around FB: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=383156548388335&set=a.350581101645880.70387.324385204265470&type=1&theater

I
t is atrocious that our Country doesn't protect the rights of Mother's and their babies during this very important time. We expect our babies to be independent from the moment they are birthed from our womb and then wonder why we have so many unstable, miserable adults in this Country. This stuff matters! Women who vote need to start demanding these rights--why is THIS never on the ballots?

 

Also, my family has recently fallen on some seriously hard times financially--we recently were homeless and have lost everything that is linked to finances, inlcuding our health because we now have a food stamp budget of $212 monthly for our family of 3 since my husband makes sooooo much money at $1100 gross monthly {rent is $800--do the math}. I would love to go back to work during the next 6 months so that we can use the money to help us live. I am a health care professional--licensed by the State of Florida Board of Health as a Massage Therapist and have a great working history--Do you think I can find a job now that I am pregnant? Only at Walmart--not in my field--or McDonalds. 

Sorry for the rant.

post #13 of 22

mamaharrison-I am so incredibly sorry that you and your family have gone through and are going through such a tough time. Our public assistance system in this country is maddening, as is our health care 'non' system, and the war on women that is taking place politically. I wish that I had the resources to help you out, I *know* how stressful it is to worry about every little thing. I pray that some HUGE blessings come your way mama!!!

post #14 of 22

mamaharrison- I am so, so sorry.  I can not believe that one of the wealthiest countries in the world does so little to support their women!  And its awful that someone who spent the time and money to be trained and is obviously hard -working can't find a job because she chooses to have a family.  Awful, awful.  I'm praying for you and your family mama, I hope blessings are just around the corner for you!
 

post #15 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by heyitskalista View Post

mamaharrison- I am so, so sorry.  I can not believe that one of the wealthiest countries in the world does so little to support their women!  And its awful that someone who spent the time and money to be trained and is obviously hard -working can't find a job because she chooses to have a family.  Awful, awful.  I'm praying for you and your family mama, I hope blessings are just around the corner for you!
 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by darkblue0729 View Post

mamaharrison-I am so incredibly sorry that you and your family have gone through and are going through such a tough time. Our public assistance system in this country is maddening, as is our health care 'non' system, and the war on women that is taking place politically. I wish that I had the resources to help you out, I *know* how stressful it is to worry about every little thing. I pray that some HUGE blessings come your way mama!!!

Thanks mamas. I appreciate the kindness. I don't want to steal the OP thread here, but I just want to highlight that Maternity Leave is NOT a protected right in this Country and that there are MANY women who are left in the cold when they are pregnant and PP. Women need to demand these rights under the federal law for themselves, each other, and their children NOW. We are so far behind the times Globally.

post #16 of 22

Did you guys see workers in Florida were recently fired for wearing orange shirts? http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/business/2012/03/law-firm-fires-workers-for-wearing-orange/

 

Mamaharrison, I'm so sorry you guys are having such a stressful time! I liked the chart. I read some of the comments, and someone said they got paid leave because of FMLA. Ugh! I did a paper on FMLA in college (while pregnant :) so I know the ins and outs, but how could a person be so misinformed?

 

I'm a freelancer, so I don't have any benefits of any kind. My husband is a stay at home dad, so I'm planning on heading out on jobs at 2 weeks if able. I'm 100% committed to breastfeeding, so I'll be pumping to some degree. Luckily I can go out on short jobs for about 3 hours and then come home and finish up the other half on my computer with the baby in a wrap. Once pumping is established, I'd start longer jobs. With DD, I'd be gone for about 4 hours to college when she was six months old, and I didn't even have to pump. She didn't care for a bottle of pumped milk and would rather wait. Plus she slept for most of the time I was gone.

 

To the OP, I don't have a "boss" per se, but I have a firmowner I work through as a subcontractor for many jobs, and I told her. It's a different relationship than with a boss since I can't be "fired." She could decide not to assign any more work to me, but that doesn't help her unless I was doing poor work. I told her the 2 weeks estimate and that I'd be working up to the end. She was fine with that. I'm sure she will not be happy if for some reason I can't go out at 2 weeks, but again there's nothing either of us can do about that.

post #17 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamaharrison View Post

Also, my family has recently fallen on some seriously hard times financially--we recently were homeless and have lost everything that is linked to finances, inlcuding our health because we now have a food stamp budget of $212 monthly for our family of 3 since my husband makes sooooo much money at $1100 gross monthly {rent is $800--do the math}. I would love to go back to work during the next 6 months so that we can use the money to help us live. I am a health care professional--licensed by the State of Florida Board of Health as a Massage Therapist and have a great working history--Do you think I can find a job now that I am pregnant? Only at Walmart--not in my field--or McDonalds. 

 

I think this story is so common right now in our economy. greensad.gif DH and I have always lived pretty comfortably and the last year just kind of turned our world upside down. We were so blessed that we had a savings to live off of (and in-laws who let us stay in one of their houses until things turned around). But, the savings ran out before DH ever got another job offer. My sweet DH has been waiting tables for the last 6 months to put food on the table. Things are hard out there right now. I shudder to think what would have happened if my in-laws didn't have this place that we could stay in. He starts a new job next week. thumb.gif

 

I volunteer down at the Rescue Mission and I hear this same story over and over. People who never would have imagined they couldn't feed/clothe their kids are finding themselves just barely hanging on.  I hope things turn around soon for you guys mama! hug2.gif

post #18 of 22

I am a PhD student and was just awarded a two year fellowship. The only kicker is that when I go on leave, I don't get paid unless my adviser takes pity on me and lets me make up the hours later on. We are protected by a union though, so I can take leave for 12 weeks and have my insurance coverage paid by the university. I receive a stipend every month that will cover childcare, but not much else. Dh has a job, thankfully, and the economy in his sector is recovering, so unless a major catastrophe strikes, I think we will be ok. Not able to save a ton of money every month, but it is doable for the short term.

 

That said, I have been waiting to tell my adviser until the first trimester is over and maybe not until we have gone through the early screenings and know that all is ok with the baby. I don't think she will be very excited for me.

 

JJ

post #19 of 22

I thought this was a really interesting article:  http://kellymom.com/blog-post/cost-maternity-leave/

 

I'm sure it wouldn't work the way she simplified it, if it ever happened.  But as a ballpark figure . . . I would totally support a payroll tax to pay for maternity leave.

post #20 of 22

With DS (another December baby oddly enough), I worked for a small company and told my boss right away. She was just back from maternity leave herself and we were very close so it felt right. The best advice she gave me was to wait to make any plans for my return until I knew how I felt about it after the baby arrived. A baby can change everything. She asked me to put together a transition plan. I planned how to turn-over my projects and cross-train my coworkers to cover for me. Since we didn't have an HR deptmant, I also sought out some friends who work in HR to learn everything I could about my legal rights. I patched together a 7 month long, partially-paid leave from STD, sick/vacation hours, and holidays (a perk with December babies!) After DS was born, I met with my boss to discuss my return. We came up with a plan for me to come back PT. Unfortunately, her boss wanted "PT" to be 30 hours a week. I was in grad school at the time. Pre-baby working FT and going to school PT was easy but post-baby I wasn't willing to do that. So we kept brainstorming. The solution we came up with was for me to cut my leave short by a couple of months in order to return FT during the summer, when I was out of school and the company had its busiest season. After that, I scaled back to limited PT hours as a consultant. My point with all these details is to keep an open mind, and open communication with your boss; and to imagine all the different ways you might be able to co-create a mutually benficial arrangement.

 

This time, I work PT and remotely for a different company. It's quite large and has a lot more HR infrastructure than the place I worked when DS was born. Becasue I'm off-site and have flexible hours, I haven't felt the need to tell my boss yet. Again I'm fortunate to work for a woman with whom I have a great relationship and who is herself a mother. That really helps. This time around I envision a very different kind of leave. I would like to take 4-6 weeks completely off, which will overlap in part with the holidays. Then I think I'd like to get right back to PT work. It's pretty easy to work form home with a tiny baby. It's when they start to move around that it gets tricky!

 

Good luck :)

  Return Home
  Back to Forum: December 2012 Due Date Club
Mothering › Groups › December 2012 Due Date Club › Discussions › Announcing Pregnancy to Boss - Your Experiences?