Anyone ever quit after maternity leave? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 42 Old 10-04-2008, 12:45 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Just curious. I work full time, and while DH and I are currently TTC #1, once the baby is born, I do NOT want to work full time .. or part time, for that matter. The plan is to work throughout the pregnancy.

Is it even legal to quit your job right AFTER maternity leave? I know it makes me look like a snake in the grass for intending to do it this way, but sorry, six weeks with my newborn isnt going to be enough and I need to do what will be best for our family, you know? The plan is to either take out our own insurance policy after the babe is born or to sign up for COBRA coverage. Cost is not a problem, we can afford to this. Anyhow, have any of you done this? What was the result? I need to know the nitty gritty in advance..
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#2 of 42 Old 10-04-2008, 12:53 AM
 
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Well, I took a prolonged maternity leave, 8 weeks instead of 6, and then I quit 9 months after I went back. I had only been working there for 3 months when I got pregnant, too. I felt pretty much like scum for doing that, but it was absolutely pertinent for my family that I stay at home then. My infant had gotten community-acquired pneumonia 3 times--hospitalized twice--and desperately needed to be removed from daycare.
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#3 of 42 Old 10-04-2008, 02:37 AM
 
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do you have short term disability? maternity counts as STD in AZ. my HR dept told me that if I needed more than 6 wks that I could use my STD benefits for 6 more weeks...that way I still had insurance and still was paid for my time off. After that though i was on my own.

i too was planning to do what you are doing. but i quiet my job and started a new one in my 4th month of pregnancy. I started a new job but lost all my benefits and senority...so i just resigned. im unemployed now and will have to find a new job.

but i too felt that 6 wks was not enough for me...6 months is what i want
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#4 of 42 Old 10-04-2008, 04:00 PM
 
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Originally Posted by waves.of.grain View Post
Just curious. I work full time, and while DH and I are currently TTC #1, once the baby is born, I do NOT want to work full time .. or part time, for that matter. The plan is to work throughout the pregnancy.

Is it even legal to quit your job right AFTER maternity leave? I know it makes me look like a snake in the grass for intending to do it this way, but sorry, six weeks with my newborn isnt going to be enough and I need to do what will be best for our family, you know? The plan is to either take out our own insurance policy after the babe is born or to sign up for COBRA coverage. Cost is not a problem, we can afford to this. Anyhow, have any of you done this? What was the result? I need to know the nitty gritty in advance..
Oh hell yes I quit without telling anyone. I HATED my job, loved the money, but did not like the people around me. I had it all planned out too before I left for maternity leave. I just called one day and said very plainly "I am not coming back. I have decided to stay home full time with my baby." Hung up the phone and never looked back. Got on my husband's insurance ahead of time and dropped mine at work. Now I work weekends only as an RN for my Ob/Gyn and LOVE it!
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#5 of 42 Old 10-04-2008, 04:35 PM
 
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I quit right after my maternity leave. I was planning to quit as soon as the baby was born, because I was not planning on coming back to work and didn't feel right about taking maternity leave. But my boss and my company's human resources manager, knowing my intentions, encouraged me to go ahead and take the maternity leave before quitting.
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#6 of 42 Old 10-06-2008, 03:10 PM
 
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I was working fo r a school and I had to go on early leave because I had a high risk pregnancy. I was gona for soo long. After I had her the position was filled so it was like they had laid me off. If I wanted to work there I would have had to go through the entire hiring process again. It was considered laid off, so I got UI, after the disability, then I ended up full tim enursing so I stay here with these kidlets now

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#7 of 42 Old 10-06-2008, 03:49 PM
 
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Oh hell yes I quit without telling anyone. I HATED my job, loved the money, but did not like the people around me. I had it all planned out too before I left for maternity leave. I just called one day and said very plainly "I am not coming back. I have decided to stay home full time with my baby." Hung up the phone and never looked back. Got on my husband's insurance ahead of time and dropped mine at work. Now I work weekends only as an RN for my Ob/Gyn and LOVE it!
One of my coworkers did this. : She knew all along that she wasn't planning on coming back, so near the end of her eight-week PAID leave, she turned in her notice. I'm waiting to see if she has to pay all that money back...

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#8 of 42 Old 10-07-2008, 10:07 AM
 
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I taught in an Elementary school where the administration changed the year I got pregnant and I went from loving my job to hating it. I had planned to do the same thing (quit after my maternity leave) since I had earned 10 weeks of paid sick-time over my career and the money would have really helped. However, I seeked counsel from my former administrator and she informed me that my Teaching License could be suspended if I did that. So I read my contract and she was right! I don't think it is illegal, but you need to check with the procedures and policies where you work. The insurance is something to consider (because you would have to pay that), but you seem to have that worked out. Best of luck with you new babe
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#9 of 42 Old 10-07-2008, 10:34 AM
 
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Yes, I quit. I went back to work for one day. I literally walked in, told them I was quitting and walked out. I didn't even wait for them to find someone to replace me for that day. I don't regret it in the slightest.
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#10 of 42 Old 10-07-2008, 10:43 AM
 
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Yup, I did that too. I knew I would not be coming back to work but I had no idea what the policy was as far as insurance to cover medical expenses and what not and I also wasn't too sure how to find out without raising an eyebrow. I was very young and quite honestly just didn't really care so I called work the day I was due to return and told them that I decided to stay home with my babies.

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#11 of 42 Old 10-07-2008, 12:12 PM
 
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Are you getting paid maternity leave or wanting to get FMLA? All FMLA does is extend your insurance and you legally can be forced to pay back the premiums if you quit. Taking paid maternity leave when you know you're quitting is a little unethical imo, especially since you don't need the money. So few companies offer that wonderful benefit and people doing that give them reasons to stop. You're putting your employer in a tough position of needing to hire a replacement with no notice, and that will hurt you if you need a recommendation later.

I'm quitting and gave notice even though I'm losing 2 months of saved up sick time (unless I get put on bedrest or something). I hope to return to my career at some point and will need that recommendation. Of course I like my job and have been taken care of by my boss, so that could be influencing my opinion.

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#12 of 42 Old 10-07-2008, 12:28 PM
 
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I intended to go back to work but quit after my maternity leave. My leave wasn't paid, though, but I did have health benefits. I don't see how it could be illegal, I mean, I decided 10 weeks PP that I just couldn't go back. What could they do, come to my house and force me to? Call the cops? Although, if I had known that I wasn't coming back I might have let them know ahead of time to give my co-workers time to prepare. I had no problems with my managers or co-workers and so had I known I wouldn't have left them in a bind. My leave was 12 weeks though so they had been getting along without me for awhile already when I quit.

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#13 of 42 Old 10-07-2008, 10:36 PM
 
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I quit. I was part time managing a Waldenbooks at the time and had the intention of going back because I REALLY liked that job....I told them I was coming back and I was going back as a full time manager...but I just couldn't do it....I felt SO guilty about putting my 5 year old and a new born baby into daycare....so, I quit. My husband was SO glad I did it...the funny thing (not really) is that my IL's thought I was lazy and putting all the financial stress on my Dh...that made me feel guilty at first, but not for long. Everything about my life has changed in so many ways since then, I think SAHPs work 2xs as hard as they ever did out in the "real" workforce...sometimes I miss the independence of it all but not very often. I am glad its all worked out the way it has.

 

 

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#14 of 42 Old 10-07-2008, 11:59 PM
 
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Taking paid maternity leave when you know you're quitting is a little unethical imo, especially since you don't need the money. So few companies offer that wonderful benefit and people doing that give them reasons to stop.
YES! Thank you. Quitting (when you KNOW you're not coming back) after taking maternity benefits only makes it that much harder on working moms. The more companies get "burned" by extending these benefits, the less likely they are to make them available.
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#15 of 42 Old 10-08-2008, 09:21 AM
 
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Taking paid maternity leave when you know you're quitting is a little unethical imo, especially since you don't need the money. So few companies offer that wonderful benefit and people doing that give them reasons to stop. You're putting your employer in a tough position of needing to hire a replacement with no notice, and that will hurt you if you need a recommendation later.
This was the way I always felt about it, so when I got pregnant I was surprised to find that my boss and the human resources manager didn't feel the same way. As I said in an earlier post, they encouraged me to take maternity leave (partly paid because of sick leave/disability), even though I made it quite clear that I did not intend to come back. Of course, it probably helped that I was honest about my intentions, so they didn't find out at the last minute they would need a replacement. But I got the impression that no one would have been shocked or surprised or terribly annoyed if I had waited until my leave was over and suddenly announced I wasn't coming back. I think this is common enough that most employers would be somewhat prepared for it.

The human resources person pointed out that even though I didn't want to come back, something could happen to make me change my mind, so it would be reasonable for me to keep my options open as long as possible. Is there anything that could make you change your mind, OP? What if your husband lost his job, for instance?

I don't think you should assume that your only options are to pretend you're coming back, or to quit before taking maternity leave. It may work out fine for you to take maternity leave, while letting everyone know you are very unlikely to come back. Especially if you work for a large company. In that case, the people who actually know you and will give you references won't be likely to care if you get a bit of extra money, as long as you're not misleading them - the money's not coming out of their pockets.
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#16 of 42 Old 10-08-2008, 09:31 AM
 
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yes i did. i had planned to go back to work after my 12 week (paid) leave. i was working in a school and would return April 1, finish out the school year and then i was quitting. and they knew this. but as my return date neared i couldn't imagine going back to finish the year and give up that time with my son. but i also needed to stay for a few weeks to wrap up some family things (my quitting was aligned with a move across the state so we needed a little time). i went back to work on a tues. and gave my notice that friday.

one thing you have to think about - if you are on health insurance from you employer and don't go back - you may be expected to pay what they paid for your insurance while you were on leave. i was prepared to pay back, but since i did technically return, it was never an issue.

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#17 of 42 Old 10-08-2008, 11:51 AM
 
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I decided while pregnant not to return to work, and was upfront about it. That allowed my employer to hire my replacement in a timely fashion, and I still got my six weeks maternity leave and disability. The day I would have returned to work was my "last day." Everyone was happy with the solution--they didn't have to scramble to cover my work (as a system administrator running the email for about 10,000 people), and I didn't have to worry about getting on my husband's insurance while pregnant.

I could not have treated my employer shabbily by lying about it, and I think it reflects poorly on women when we do that.
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#18 of 42 Old 10-08-2008, 02:12 PM
 
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yes. though it wasn't the plan all along...I just didn't realize how intensely I was going to feel about leaving my baby when the original plans were made...my employer was understanding...I had to give back a small amount of vacation I had taken "in advance" in addition to the mat leave...but otherwise, they were good about it.

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One of my coworkers did this. : She knew all along that she wasn't planning on coming back, so near the end of her eight-week PAID leave, she turned in her notice. I'm waiting to see if she has to pay all that money back...
Sorry if I pissed you off, I was just answering honestly. I did not have to pay them back, but I did not get paid maternity leave, in fact, I had no vacation to use (I had used it up during my doctor's appointments, they MAKE you take vacation time for a doctor's appointment.) I was tired of the bull$hit sexism that took place there. They were only allowing me 6 weeks for maternity leave and if I did not return within 6 weeks they said I should not return at all, so I didn't.
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When I was a few months pg and I hadn't told anyone yet, I quit my job and took another for more money per hour that was less physical. I didn't tell my new employer I was pg for a month or so. Then I went on mat leave for a year and quit my job about 6months into my mat. leave.

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#21 of 42 Old 10-08-2008, 03:14 PM
 
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Yes, I quit. I went back to work for one day. I literally walked in, told them I was quitting and walked out. I didn't even wait for them to find someone to replace me for that day. I don't regret it in the slightest.
Me neither! Of all the crap I put up with for months during my pregnancy (for some reason me being pregnant really ticked off my boss, who is also female) I did the same thing. No regrets.
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#22 of 42 Old 10-08-2008, 11:15 PM
 
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i was a ft mngr at a trendy clothing store and worked up until i was told not to by my dr (36 wks), i had no intention of coming back but our ins was thru them at the time so i kept my mouth shut and at 6 wks PP went in and resigned (after all my bills had been paid) with 2 wks left on my NONpaid leave. i did prepay my premiums up to 7 wks. no one said anything to me except we'll miss ya
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#23 of 42 Old 10-10-2008, 03:32 PM
 
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Sorry if I pissed you off, I was just answering honestly. I did not have to pay them back, but I did not get paid maternity leave, in fact, I had no vacation to use (I had used it up during my doctor's appointments, they MAKE you take vacation time for a doctor's appointment.) I was tired of the bull$hit sexism that took place there. They were only allowing me 6 weeks for maternity leave and if I did not return within 6 weeks they said I should not return at all, so I didn't.
YOU didn't piss me off, my coworker did. I don't know much about your situation (or at least, I didn't) but hers was different. For one thing, we're in an all-female workplace, tons of support for dr's appointments and etc. We work for a company that gives really good benefits, including 8 weeks paid and up to 6 months unpaid leave for maternity, paternity, and adoption leave. That does not include vacation time, which we also get and can use to extend the paid leave. She knew from the very beginning that she had no intention of going back-- it wasn't one of these cases where a new mom (or new again) just doesn't realize until later that she can't go back to work. It was something she had planned on all along-- to collect full pay for 8 weeks and then quit. That paid leave is an incentive to remain with the company, not a going-away present; the long leave plus full benefits at 20 hours plus a child-care credit puts this paticular company on Forbes "best companies for working mothers" list every year. As PP have pointed out, women like my coworker deliberately manipulating those benefits hurts everybody else.

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#24 of 42 Old 10-10-2008, 03:48 PM
 
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YOU didn't piss me off, my coworker did. I don't know much about your situation (or at least, I didn't) but hers was different. For one thing, we're in an all-female workplace, tons of support for dr's appointments and etc. We work for a company that gives really good benefits, including 8 weeks paid and up to 6 months unpaid leave for maternity, paternity, and adoption leave. That does not include vacation time, which we also get and can use to extend the paid leave. She knew from the very beginning that she had no intention of going back-- it wasn't one of these cases where a new mom (or new again) just doesn't realize until later that she can't go back to work. It was something she had planned on all along-- to collect full pay for 8 weeks and then quit. That paid leave is an incentive to remain with the company, not a going-away present; the long leave plus full benefits at 20 hours plus a child-care credit puts this paticular company on Forbes "best companies for working mothers" list every year. As PP have pointed out, women like my coworker deliberately manipulating those benefits hurts everybody else.
Wow!! Where are you from? Is your company hiring?? lol. In that case, I can see that is a crappy thing to do...

I'm kind of in a bind and wondering what to do myself. I don't WANT to come back to work after baby if I don't have to - that I know for sure - but hubby and I still haven't determined if i'll have to or not. I don't want to screw over my work as they've been good to me and accomodating but I really think this will be an extremely last minute decision so I don't want to lose my job either just in case!

Also, our medical benefits are through my company (possibly the reason i'll have to stay - my hubby's insurance is so awful he might as well not even have any). I didn't realize if you don't come back, there's a possibility they'll make you pay?!?! That's A LOT of money!! Hospital bills and all? I figured i'd still be considered an employee, so they couldn't take my medical benefits away. I'd understand if they didn't want to pay the 6 weeks disability, or sick time - that i'm not worried about. Is this really a good possibility that my insurance would be taken if I didn't come back? Now I feel like I'll have no choice but to come back no matter what.
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#25 of 42 Old 10-10-2008, 03:49 PM
 
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YOU didn't piss me off, my coworker did. I don't know much about your situation (or at least, I didn't) but hers was different. For one thing, we're in an all-female workplace, tons of support for dr's appointments and etc. We work for a company that gives really good benefits, including 8 weeks paid and up to 6 months unpaid leave for maternity, paternity, and adoption leave. That does not include vacation time, which we also get and can use to extend the paid leave. She knew from the very beginning that she had no intention of going back-- it wasn't one of these cases where a new mom (or new again) just doesn't realize until later that she can't go back to work. It was something she had planned on all along-- to collect full pay for 8 weeks and then quit. That paid leave is an incentive to remain with the company, not a going-away present; the long leave plus full benefits at 20 hours plus a child-care credit puts this paticular company on Forbes "best companies for working mothers" list every year. As PP have pointed out, women like my coworker deliberately manipulating those benefits hurts everybody else.
Oh wow! PAID time off?????? Holy crap, that is amazing! She was lucky to have such a great support system. I worked with mostly men (who were actually more supportive than the women) and a couple of nasty, spiteful women who hated seeing my pregnant belly there day after day That was wrong to do that in her case. I would be pissed too.
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Me neither! Of all the crap I put up with for months during my pregnancy (for some reason me being pregnant really ticked off my boss, who is also female) I did the same thing. No regrets.
Honestly? This is one of the reasons that companies (particularly small ones) are so reluctant to hire women of child-bearing age. Regardless of all the "crap" you put up with, you really should have been professional enough to give a reasonable amount of notice. The implications of pregnant women just deciding not to go back to work, and not having the courtesy or professionalism to at least give notice, are far more widespread than the immediate fallout to your boss or co-workers.

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#27 of 42 Old 10-10-2008, 04:38 PM
 
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Wow!! Where are you from? Is your company hiring?? lol. In that case, I can see that is a crappy thing to do...
Bank of America. In my area there's a hiring freeze right now (crazy economy and all) but I don't know if that's everywhere, or regional. To get the full maternity leave benefits, you have to be working there at least a year when you apply.

Mytwogirls: yep. Exactly.

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#28 of 42 Old 10-10-2008, 05:31 PM
 
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Bank of America. In my area there's a hiring freeze right now (crazy economy and all) but I don't know if that's everywhere, or regional. To get the full maternity leave benefits, you have to be working there at least a year when you apply.

Mytwogirls: yep. Exactly.
Banks always seem to have really great benefits - yours are exceptional but I work for a bank and my benefits are really good also. Which brings up another good point - with the economy the way it is right now - it's foolish to burn any bridges. Even if I don't HAVE to work after baby is born, I'm wondering if I shouldn't hang on to this job anyway. It's scary right now.
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#29 of 42 Old 10-10-2008, 05:41 PM
 
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I was very fortunate to have 12 weeks of FMLA and my company tacks on 4 more weeks...however I won't call it "maternity leave" since I had to use my sick, personal and vacation time and for the rest no pay. Anyway, during the course of my leave my position changed a great deal. Not enough for them to be in violation of my leave since the job was still available to me but enough for me to not want to go back. As it happens, I was researching what would happen if I didn't return to work before I found out about the change and discovered that if I returned to work for 30 days after my leave that I would not be held liable if I decided to leave after that. If my job hadn't changed and I did not go back? I would have been liable to pay the health insurance premiums paid by my company during leave. I imagine you have FMLA and are protected under these same guidelines.
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#30 of 42 Old 10-11-2008, 01:10 PM
 
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nak - so quick response

When I was pg with DD I knew I wanted to quit my job but had concerns with a tricky health insurance issue so had to maintian the health insurance through the birth so that DD would be covered. I spoke to our hr benefits person (who, luckily, was also a friend). She told me that it is understood that you cannot assume anything a woman will do until she has the baby. Because so so many women change their minds about working once they've had the baby, no employer assumes 100% that she is returning to work until she is actually back sitting at her desk.

As a friend (not as the HR person) she advised me not to mention my plans to quit - because of the health ins issue - until after the birth so that DD could be added to the insurance. I didn't mind paying to COBRA but I think that the issue was that you can't add someone once you're on COBRAed insurance, so I had to be still under regular insurance.

My friend did say to hold onto the pay I recieved during my leave because the company has a right to ask for that back if you do quit at the end of the leave (my company never did).
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