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Mothering › Groups › August 2013 Due Date Club › Discussions › Maternity leave

Maternity leave

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I know there are a lot of stay at home or work at home moms around but for those who work outside the home, what maternity leave do you request? Last baby, I had 4 months before starting but only because I was starting a new job. This time around I'm already being depended on to cover emergency call half-time and my boss only wants me to take 2 months (though I have asked for 3 months). Note: I'm already somewhat unhappy in my job but currently have 2 more years on my contract. So I'm trying to decide if I should push the issue or try to be compliant. I'd be totally cool if she told me not to come back after the baby, but I wouldn't be so lucky. Anyone have any experience with a short leave with gradual return vs a longer leave with complete return? Sorry to include a short bitchfest in with this question. I've had a frustrating few months with said boss. :-)

Emily
post #2 of 17

With my first I went back at 12 weeks. It was fine. With my second I went back at 12 weeks part time, 3 days a week. It was great, but also really necessary as she had a lot of medical complications from being a preemie, and scheduling her doc appointments and therapy appointments was like another full time job. I think you should check with the laws in your state. I am pretty sure in most states you are entitled to 3 months. 

post #3 of 17
auvetmom:

How long have you worked at your company? How many people does it employ?
post #4 of 17
I had a super sweet maternity leave last time, it was almost four months. I think this one will be similar. They let me use some sort of short term disability first, then FMLA, then sick and vacation time. I wanted to ease back into work, but that didn't really happen. It was fine, as fine as going back to work can be...my job is a little different now, so we may have to do something a little more non-traditional, although at our day care, you pay for four or five days a week whether you use it or not, so...hmm...

Anyway. I'm not sure what to say in your circumstance, it sounds a lot different than mine.
post #5 of 17

Last time I took about 4.5 months, it was a combo of short term disability, FMLA, and sick/vacation time.  But this time I want to save my sick/vacation time.  I figure I am going to need it with a newborn and a 3-year old! Especially one who seems to bring home a fair share of colds from preschool.  I have to check in with my HR and make sure how long the disability + FMLA is, I think that's something like 3 months.  I have a lot of flexibility to work from home now so that will help.

post #6 of 17
I didn't work with my first two children. Now I work very part time (2 days a week) and even with that little bit thinking about working after the baby is born is stressing me out. I want to take at least 4 months. It just doesn't seem practical to work with 3 kids, especially when they are homeschooled. I'm hoping dh gets a raise between now and then so I don't have to worry about it.
post #7 of 17

I took 8 weeks with my first, then started back to work 2 days per week for weeks 9 and 10, then 3 days per week 11 and 12 and week 13 back full time.  I am allowed up to 12 weeks unpaid where i work. I used short term disability and vacation time to cover the 8 weeks.  I really liked going back gradually but 8 weeks was not enough time for me. This time I am asking for a full 12 weeks and frantically trying to save money to cover it.  I love my job, but hate our maternity leave policy. 

 

BTW does anyone know if a company can ask for benefits/wages paid during maternity leave if you don't return, or go back part time instead of full time?

post #8 of 17
Thread Starter 
I live in VA which doesn't have a maternity leave law. I've worked at this practice for 1 year and as far as vets, it's just me and my boss. I'm not asking for paid leave, just unpaid, so I feel like I should be able take whatever I want. Since I'm not being paid, she can certainly hire a relief vet but because she's a controlling micromanager, I doubt she would. Honestly, I think she hired me just so she wouldn't have to be on call all the time. Maternity leave was factored into the contract in the sense of me being able to return without any change to the original contract but not a specific leave length. We are meeting tomorrow but I have noticed she has already written up the schedule for me to start leave 1 week pre-due date and returning 8 weeks after that. I was 2 weeks late last preg, so I expect much the same this time. If that happens, I will be returning to work 5 weeks post-partum and to a decently physical job. On top of that, she has me on-call for emergencies for 3 weeks straight as soon as I come back. Can you imagine leaving your 5 week old in evening freak out time to go take care of a sick horse? No thanks. I hope she fires me. I can't take this. Never going to work for a non-parent ever again.

Ps. Thanks for everyone's responses!
post #9 of 17

OMG, AUvetmom, that sounds horrendous!! Absolutely impossible! While I know she is not even subject to the FMLA given it sounds like there are less than 25 employees there, I would expect you could at least use the 12 weeks as a basic starting point for conversation! Also, given she doesn't want to be on call, maybe you could offer to come back doing the emergency call only for a while, and then gradually increasing hours back to full time? How hard is it for you to find something else if you have to? If you have the flexibility, you can bargain hard to get exactly it is that you want and that works best for you. But wow, 8 weeks, possibly 5, could be really a bad idea.
 

post #10 of 17

 Your a large animal vet - that is very physical work especially when you are recovering from birth.  I don't even do most of our small farm work (just the easier stuff) in the last weeks of pregnancy and for as long as possible after the birth.  I wish you luck, maybe she will just give up and release you from the contract if you stick to your requests.

post #11 of 17
AUvetmom, whoa! This sounds horrible and your boss is a tyrant! I went back at 5 weeks pp to a non- physical job, working from home and it was horrible, not enough time, exhausting, stressful, etc. I will never do that again!

Is Virginia an at-will work state? In Texas, you can quit for any reason or get fired for any reason (except OBV harassment and discrimination and such are still crimes) and contracts for work duration cannot be enforced. I would look into maternity and workforce legislation in VA. I am so sorry for this stressor!
post #12 of 17

My office has less than 50 employees and is not subject to FMLA. I got 8 weeks with my first and then I added 2 weeks PTO on top of that, for a total of 10. Of the 8 weeks, they paid me for 2 and I used short-term disability to give me some money for the other 6. 

 

Before I got pregnant this time around, I sent an email to the powers that be asking that we review our maternity leave policy. It was a very nice email that just said perhaps we should consider getting in line with FMLA even though we are not legally bound, and that many people get at least 12 weeks off and it's really helpful for mom and baby for breastfeeding but also being more ready to be productive when we return to work. 

 

Three men shot me down and said absolutely not. Not only that but now policy is changing that we cannot add PTO to the end of the 8 weeks. So now this time I am ONLY able to take 8 weeks, two paid, the others I can submit disability for. 

 

Here is the kicker. Normally I would raise hell because I truly do not think 8 weeks is enough and I earned my PTO and should be able to use it when i want, but since having my first child, they have allowed me to telecommute and work from home 4 out of 5 days a week, only coming into the office on Tuesdays. This is a really really really nice luxury because I can still see my babies and feed them on demand. 

 

I am very thankful for this and don't want to look ungrateful. So question is would you just quietly take the 8 weeks or put up a fight for more? Even if you are getting a super nice perk of working from home?

post #13 of 17

You all are gonna hate me...my employer gives us 18 months (unpaid). I'm up in Canada though. 12 months of that I get government employment insurance (which isn't a lot of money but it helps), the next 3 months I'll use up sick leave and vacation days and then the last 3 months will be unpaid.

 

I'm not sharing this to flaunt it...just to point out that you are treated very unfairly in the US when it comes to maternity leave. I feel for you.

post #14 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by HippieIncognito View Post

My office has less than 50 employees and is not subject to FMLA. I got 8 weeks with my first and then I added 2 weeks PTO on top of that, for a total of 10. Of the 8 weeks, they paid me for 2 and I used short-term disability to give me some money for the other 6. 

Before I got pregnant this time around, I sent an email to the powers that be asking that we review our maternity leave policy. It was a very nice email that just said perhaps we should consider getting in line with FMLA even though we are not legally bound, and that many people get at least 12 weeks off and it's really helpful for mom and baby for breastfeeding but also being more ready to be productive when we return to work. 

Three men shot me down and said absolutely not. Not only that but now policy is changing that we cannot add PTO to the end of the 8 weeks. So now this time I am ONLY able to take 8 weeks, two paid, the others I can submit disability for. 

Here is the kicker. Normally I would raise hell because I truly do not think 8 weeks is enough and I earned my PTO and should be able to use it when i want, but since having my first child, they have allowed me to telecommute and work from home 4 out of 5 days a week, only coming into the office on Tuesdays. This is a really really really nice luxury because I can still see my babies and feed them on demand. 

I am very thankful for this and don't want to look ungrateful. So question is would you just quietly take the 8 weeks or put up a fight for more? Even if you are getting a super nice perk of working from home?

I would stay quiet, apply for the extra time, but not make a fuss. It sucks to be separated at 8 weeks, but it's better to do it one day a week than 5. Maternity/work law sucks here!
Quote:
Originally Posted by carmen358 View Post

You all are gonna hate me...my employer gives us 18 months (unpaid). I'm up in Canada though. 12 months of that I get government employment insurance (which isn't a lot of money but it helps), the next 3 months I'll use up sick leave and vacation days and then the last 3 months will be unpaid.

I'm not sharing this to flaunt it...just to point out that you are treated very unfairly in the US when it comes to maternity leave. I feel for you.

Yep. It surely does suck greensad.gif
post #15 of 17

My company covers me under both FMLA and the NJ FLA, I get 6 weeks STD, 6 weeks maternity leave (2 weeks for every year you've worked at the company up to 6), and I'm hoping to take vacation time to cover me under the extra unpaid time I get under NJFLA (hopefully at least 4 weeks extra).

 

I really hate how short maternity leave is here in the US, but at the same time, I kind of understand.  I mean, it's hard for a company to support an employee for a year, then have to either a) hire someone to perform that job for a year or b) have other employees work harder to cover that employee's responsibilities.

 

I wonder if a viable solution would be something similar to the way a lot of large companies run tuition reimbursement programs.  If say, you take extended paid leave beyond the 3 months most companies offer, (up to an amount set by the employer, such as an additional 3-9 months), perhaps you can "work off" the extra time in the form of payment forgiveness.  For example, if you take an extra 3 months, that extra paid time off would be "forgiven" over a period of an additional 6 months with the employer.  If you were to leave the firm before that time, then you would have to pay back a portion of the time off, pro-rated based on how close you are to the end of the period.  If the employer decided to cut ties with you before the 6 months is up, the "debt" would be forgiven.

 

This is similar to how some employers run tuition reimbursement programs for employees who go back to school full time.  The company provides a grant that pays for the schooling, but as part of receiving the grant money, you agree to stay with the firm for 2 years after you complete the program.

post #16 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by carmen358 View Post

You all are gonna hate me...my employer gives us 18 months (unpaid). I'm up in Canada though. 12 months of that I get government employment insurance (which isn't a lot of money but it helps), the next 3 months I'll use up sick leave and vacation days and then the last 3 months will be unpaid.

I'm not sharing this to flaunt it...just to point out that you are treated very unfairly in the US when it comes to maternity leave. I feel for you.
Holy cow, Carmen. That's amazing. I'm so envious! I think the current maternity leave policies in the US are the reason so many women don't go back to work until their children are older. It was WAY too difficult to go back at 12 weeks with my first and I ended up quitting after the school year ended (I was a teacher). I wish there was a better system here! (Moving to Canada sounds pretty nice at this point!)
post #17 of 17

I wasn't working during my first pregnancy, and I found a part time job 6 months after he was born. Now I'm working 25-30 hours a week. I think I'll take 3 months or so off--but that all depends on what we can afford. I'm restricted more by how much income we can afford to lose than by how much my boss will let me take. I think he'll let me have whatever I need.

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