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#1 of 21 Old 02-15-2008, 07:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I've been planning on being able to only take a six week leave after my LO is born! I'm sad I only have the six weeks, but I work part/time & didn't really expect my employer to let me have anymore then what the law requires (even though I work for a HEALTH CARE company)!
Yesterday I received my leave of absence papers in the mail, and on top is written "Four weeks only"!!! I thought there must have been a mistake, or they were just letting me know how many of those six weeks will be paid time off. (I only have about 4 weeks of PTO saved).
I called the HR office this morning to see what they meant by "Four weeks only", and because I filled out the Leave of absence papers for a tonsillectomy in May 2007, I only have four weeks of medical leave left! The part that is nuts is.... I never ended up taking ANY time off for my tonsillectomy. I filled out the paperwork as a 'just in case' and arranged my schedule so I worked my required hours and didn't use any PTO. I felt great and went back to work before my two weeks was up.
Their rebuttal was, "you filled out the paperwork, and your job was secure in case you needed the extra time off".
WHAT??? Remember I work for a health care provider!!! and even though I only work part/time & don't qualify for a FMLA medical leave (by about 100 hours), I have worked for this company for eight years!!!
I am so upset & have been crying all morning. I was able to take 12 weeks off w/Dd, and it was SO hard to leave my three month old to go back to work. I can't even imagine how upset I'll be when I'm having to leave my FOUR week old baby!!!!
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#2 of 21 Old 02-15-2008, 07:50 PM
 
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that stinks girl. I am angery for you.
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#3 of 21 Old 02-15-2008, 07:54 PM
 
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That doesn't make any sense. I'm sorry to hear this is happening to you.

Betsy, mama to Zane 4/12/05 and Cade 3/5/08
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#4 of 21 Old 02-15-2008, 07:56 PM
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can you appeal it? There's got to be someone higher who can help you. Given that you didn't use the time, that really stinks.
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#5 of 21 Old 02-15-2008, 08:12 PM
 
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That's rotten. I really hope you can find a way to appeal it.

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#6 of 21 Old 02-15-2008, 08:24 PM
 
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I'm so sorry mama
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#7 of 21 Old 02-15-2008, 08:26 PM
 
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That makes no sense to me, either. I don't see how they can erase part of your leave because you requested some leave but didn't take it? That's ludicrous. Make some noise with someone higher up., and hopefully, they will be able to make the situation right.
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#8 of 21 Old 02-15-2008, 08:32 PM
 
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Oh Momma that totally blows!!! I am so sorry...
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#9 of 21 Old 02-15-2008, 08:45 PM
 
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I'm SO SORRY to hear that! I would be livid. Is there any way to appeal this??

I constantly appalled by the lack of parental leave I hear about in the United States!

You American Mommas get after your political leaders and demand a decent amount of paid leave to have babies!

In Canada we get 12 months of paid leave, at least 55% of your earnings as long as you have worked enough hours.

It's paid into through our Employment Insurance program, which Canadian employees and employers pay into... it comes off of paycheques automatically.

We have a much lower birthrate than our American cousins, but I'm sure it would help you ladies out a lot if you had the option!

Trin.
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#10 of 21 Old 02-15-2008, 08:45 PM
 
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OMG!!!!! That's so AWFUL! I'm so sorry to hear that! Can you take extra unpaid time off and get disability?

I'm so sorry momma!
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#11 of 21 Old 02-15-2008, 08:50 PM
 
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Actually, I believe it is illegal that they are "charging" you for PTO you didn't take. If you were paid during that time then legally they can't charge you for that time. I would call a local legal aid clinic or call your state's attorney and have them recommend a course of action. They are trying to bully you.

I'm not sure what state you are in (I'm in IL) but I have had to deal with employment law and there are a number of actions you can take - potential discrimination on the basis of pregnancy - also illegal.

Don't take this lying down. Do some research on the web and find a lawyer (not necessarily to sue, but to advise you of your rights.)

Take heart, it is not hopeless and you DO have options.

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#12 of 21 Old 02-15-2008, 09:20 PM
 
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It is utterly ridiculous that we have so little guaranteed leave in this country AND even more ridiculous that your employer is somehow counting requested but unused medical leave against your leave allotment now. Especially since it isn't even FMLA leave (since you're part-time).

Anyway, here's a resource that might be helpful:
http://www.worklifelaw.org/EmployeeHotline.html

This organization does research and advocacy on "family responsibilities discrimination" and has a hotline for employees to get some legal info and ideas about what they might do if they feel that they are not being treated fairly. Who knows if they can help, but I thought I'd pass it along as an easy 1st step.

Chris Dodd is trying to get moving again on an expansion of FMLA to provide 8 weeks of paid leave (which I know is meager compared to other countries... but better than what we have now). I'm not holding my breath but hopefully we can make SOME progress!
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#13 of 21 Old 02-15-2008, 09:53 PM
 
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Wow, that's awful. I sure hope tht you can at least get those extra 2 weeks back. It's a benefit, how can they take that away if it wasn't used!
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#14 of 21 Old 02-15-2008, 11:25 PM
 
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Just a thought, but doesn't it make any differnce that this is 2008 and not 2007? You said your requested (and didn't take) the other leave in 2007 right? Doesn't it reset since the year turned???
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#15 of 21 Old 02-16-2008, 02:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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you mama's seriously rule!! all the advice & support you gave is awesome!
I emailed the manager of my department (who needs to sign my papers), and realized that she totally rocks. She said four weeks is NOT enough time for the birth of a baby. She said I NEED to take a minimum of six weeks, but she thinks 8-12 is more reasonable. Her only concern for me was that the time will be unpaid (which I had already planned on, and prepared for)!!!!!

I feel so much better.

I am really upset for other mama's who might have to deal w/this same situation! but don't have an understanding manager who will agree to more time then what the law requires! it isn't fair. and it isn't right!
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#16 of 21 Old 02-16-2008, 02:37 PM
 
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That's such good news! I love your manager for you! I hope she can smooth things out for you and that you get lots of time with your new baby!
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#17 of 21 Old 02-16-2008, 09:29 PM
 
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Yay! I'm so glad to hear that The thought of a mama having to leave her baby so early was breaking my heart!
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#18 of 21 Old 02-16-2008, 10:17 PM
 
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Whew! I am so glad you pushed a little and got such a fabulous response!
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#19 of 21 Old 02-16-2008, 10:19 PM
 
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I'm so glad that you got this worked out!
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#20 of 21 Old 02-16-2008, 10:26 PM
 
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I'm going to give your manager a big old gold star!
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#21 of 21 Old 02-17-2008, 12:25 AM
 
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That's fabulous news!
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