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Old 06-29-2006, 03:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, I just found out some bad news this morning. I had been told all along by my administrator that we get 13 weeks off for maternity leave. Great and wonderful. The book said 13 weeks. No where in there did it say 6 weeks for pregnancies.
Well, my doctor's office is filling out my short term disability form and let me know they can only put 8 weeks down for my estimated return to work date. So, that leaves 5 weeks unaccounted for.
I called my admini. and talked with her about it and she said it shouldn't be a problem. She called the benefits person and got back to me telling me they only cover 6 weeks. 6 WEEKS for pregnancy. What am I going to do?
We had it all figured out with child care and everything. Hubby was going to teach night classes and stay home on Tuesday and Thursday while I worked and I was going to stay home the other days. This has thrown everything into a big tail spin. I just can't believe my administrator wouldn't check this out and would continue to tell us 13 weeks. There are 2 other pregnant people at work who are not going to be happy when they hear this news.
I am going to try to see if I can have the doctor's office change my form based on the type of work I do......lifting, standing, pushing, pulling, etc. I work in surgery. Maybe that would help but that is the only thing I can think of.
I called benefits lady myself and she told me the book reads "up to 13 weeks off" Well, hello? Could they not list pregnancy as a definite 6 weeks then. :
Thanks for letting me vent. I am just so dissapointed.
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Old 06-29-2006, 04:05 PM
 
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That's dreadful. Do you have an ombudsman/woman you can appeal to?
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Old 06-29-2006, 04:14 PM
 
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Are they including unpaid leave in that 13 week number? I know several people who are able to take 12 to 13 weeks, but only the first six are paid, after that it's unpaid through FMLA. Perhaps that's where the number descrepancy is coming from.
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Old 06-29-2006, 04:17 PM
 
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Sorry to hear that. that's sux.

Sand, Mom to three girls and a new SON!!!!  babyboy.gif Born on March 7th, 2011  I get to do these again:   bfinfant.gifslingboy.gifcd.gif
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Old 06-29-2006, 04:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I guess I am upset because we were told the 13 weeks would be under short term disability and that it was covered at 60% of pur pay.
My boss should know the facts before she reassures the three pregant workers that we will be able to take 13 weeks paid maternity leave.
I guess that is what is bothering me. I am the first one to go on leave in the 2 years this facility has been open and now I am getting hit with the bad news.
The leave kicks in 8 days after the last day working.
I am hoping to just use PTO I have not accrued and go into the red with that. My boss has done that for me before and while I was negative, I just accrued hours until I was getting actual hours. We don't really have anything planned where I would need to use PTO anyway and I am considering going to part time so that might have to suffice.
I am just so dissapointed and upset with my administrator right now.
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Old 06-29-2006, 10:36 PM
 
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Ugh, I hear you. Maternity policies are always written in such a confusing way, and it really sucks that your boss passed on the wrong information. As a general rule companies are required by law to treat pregnancy the same way they treat any other disability (re: pay). So pregnancy-related "disability" is usually covered under the Short Term Disability policy. You also get 12 weeks of FMLA under federal law, which is only required to be job-protected leave, not paid.

So what this amounts to is 12 weeks of leave, 6-8 of which are paid under STD (since the STD and FMLA run concurrently). Where does this arbitrary number of disabled weeks come from, you ask? Essentially it's the industry standard (6 for vaginal, 8 for c-section). The rest of the 12 weeks is unpaid. There's usually an "elimination period" in the beginning of the STD whereby they have you use all your sick days or a certain number of sick days consecutively before they start the STD period so you end up getting paid slightly longer than the 6-8 weeks (with the sick days being paid at your normal rate if STD is less than 100%)

Some companies will allow you to tack on vacation at the end (or the beginning) of the 12 weeks to extend the amount of time you're out. However I believe companies can require you to use up your vacation during the 12 weeks.

All in all it stinks. This country has a woefully short maternity leave and horrible policies around maternity pay. I totally feel your pain - I'm in the same boat. Hope you feel better soon
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Old 06-30-2006, 12:05 AM
 
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oh Rachel, I'm sorry
it really should have been clarified before now for you.
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Old 06-30-2006, 01:32 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks everyone.
I talked with the benefits person directly and while at first she was being a bit defensive and a little impersonal, she warmed up during the conversation and told me she wished she could have given me a hug and how sorry she was and she agreed with me that sometimes the managers don't follow through on things or get the straight shot on things and that was a problem.

Anyway, she also said the two benefits companies that have been affiliated with the company I work for both treat vaginal and C-section deliveries the same and call it 6 weeks which I think stinks.
I talked with my doctor's office and the person there said at my post partum visit we could try to get the doctor to extend my leave. Right now it stands at 6-8 weeks which they said by "law" they could give.
The STD states a disability as being covered UP to 13 weeks therefore I should be ok in case I do get an extension. No where in the material does it state the 6 week rule for pregnancies. I just hate when things are not black and white especially when it concerns my job. Grrrrrrrrr...........
I did have to use 8 days of PTO or no pay before the leave kicks in so we'll just see what happens. I am not going to let this get in the way of my delivery.
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