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Mothering › Groups › February 2014 Due Date Club › Discussions › Maternity Leave Policy

Maternity Leave Policy

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I just found out that unless I have a doctor's note, my company will not allow me to leave until I HAVE the baby. Is this normal?? Most women I have known have been pretty uncomfortable, encumbered, and unconcerned about much besides their baby by the end. I am sort of astounded that my company wants me there waddling around, water could beak any second, chances good I will go into labor at work, having braxton hicks contractions, with my mind NOT on my job at all!! I don't think I will have a problem getting a note, but is this normal??
post #2 of 7
That sounds like pretty standard procedure maternity policy in the US, unfortunately. When I was working during my 1st pregnancy, I was fortunate in that my company was willing to let me start working from home a month before my due date, but if I wanted to just take time off, I would have to use vacation time. Plus, the equipment I needed to work from home was delayed, so I didn't get to work from home until 10 days before my due date. I was incredibly uncomfortable and unproductive while stuck in the office...it would have been to everyone's benefit to just give me time off. I don't know how women who work up til delivery, especially women who work in the service industry, do it.

FMLA will only cover medically necessary time off due to complications, but you are still using part of the 12 weeks (so if you take off a month before the baby is born, FMLA will only cover 8 weeks postpartum, and none of that time will have to be paid). The US has one of the worst maternity leave policies in the world...down there with Liberia!
http://thinkprogress.org/health/2012/05/24/489973/paid-maternity-leave-us/
post #3 of 7

@mattie426 That sounds like a pretty standard maternity policy to me. My employer opts to have me start working from home two weeks before my due date but that is not the standard policy. Most women here work up until they deliver. The reason I get sent home to work is because I home birth. HR feels that a woman delivering at the hospital can stay at work until the last minute because they can always call an ambulance to go to the hospital but no one wants to drive me home or let me drive home if I go into labor at work. I have never had a labor under six hours so I am pretty sure that if I was to go into labor at work I would have plenty of time to get home.

post #4 of 7

I think that's not uncommon. I remember a few years ago my (at the time) boyfriend's cousin complaining about that when she went overdue and had to keep going in to work. I told my work to not put me on the schedule (which is made up in advance) after my due date, but if I don't actually have the baby for a week or more I'm not entirely sure how the leave will be handled on a corporate/paperwork level; I'd better find out about that. I think they are just going to put me in for vacation time at that point anyway (I am using my vacation concurrently with my leave since my leave is unpaid). 

post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 

I got my note to stop working on Jan. 26th!!  I faxed it to my boss, and it doesn't seem to be a problem, so I have one month left, and then I am a SAHM!!!  I am so excited!  Especially because I am dealing with my SECOND cold (thank you The Public), and I really don't want to catch anymore or be sick in labor.  When I stop working, I swear I am going to lock myself in my house and not come out until the baby is born.  Except to go shopping for baby stuff...

post #6 of 7
Ugh, yeah seems standard. I'm a grad student/adjunct so I don't qualify for any kind of maternity leave since I'm not teaching in the spring semester. I just flat out don't get paid until September, which is awful. Sigh. At least we planned for this...
post #7 of 7
Congrats, Mattie -- not much longer to go then. I echo what others have said -- unfortunately I believe that is standard policy in the U.S. We really do have the most uncivilized maternity regs. It's awful. I work for the federal government and I think it's even worse than most private companies. I get zero paid maternity leave so plan to work up until I go into labor just bc I know I need to save the time up to care for baby after she's born. As it is I'll still be taking unpaid leave which I'm not crazy about. But if I could take a week or two off before the due date I definitely would! Enjoy smile.gif
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