I work for a public university and for the first time in recent history the faculty/staff handbook is being revised. First of all let me preface by saying that we are not offered short term disability. Basically when you have to go on maternity leave you must rely on your collection of sick and vacation days. We are able to earn 12 sick days and 22 vacation days per year which, if a person were to save every possible day for 2 years, would provide a 12 week paid maternity leave. Without enough sick or vacation days one would either have to return to work or take unpaid leave. In the past we could request donated sick leave however in the newest revision of the handbook, however, states the following regarding donated sick leave for maternity leave:
The policy regarding donated sick leave has been revised. Employees receiving donated sick leave must be employed for more than one year at UW and either be on FLMA leave or have used FLMA leave within the calendar year to be eligible. Donated sick leave no longer applies for the birth or adoption of children and upon returning to work any excess hours of donated sick leave will be forfeited.
The administration has asked for feed back of their proposed revisions and I would like to flood them with information regarding the harm to both mother and child as a consequence of shortened maternity leaves (ie, lower breast feeding rates, increased PPD, increased infant illness, etc.) I would also like to point out to them that in the end the university will pay the price with higher absenteeism and potentially position turn over.
I would love to hear from others who know of research that can be referenced to assist me in fighting this battle.