Only 2-3 weeks maternity leave? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 64 Old 08-21-2008, 04:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I posted this in the Working Moms forum but I tend to feel a little more welcome and open support with all of you ladies in my DDC.



Im expecting in mid-January. My employer just came into my office and said she wanted to go ahead and talk about my maternity leave. SHE... she is a woman... with children... who has given birth before... said "So do you know how long you are going to want off? 2 weeks? 3 weeks?" I said, "I dont know how long just yet. But I dont know that 2 or 3 weeks is sufficient." She seemed to be annoyed by my answer. Im sorry but I REFUSE to put a 2 week old infant in daycare so I can get back to the office and answer a phone. I dont even know of any daycare centers that would take an infant under 6 weeks.

IS SHE CRAZY? Or am I being unreasonable in thinking its not enough time. I mean I have accrued 158 hours of paid personal time so perhaps she was basing it all on paid time off.. I dont know. But does this seem upsetting to anyone else?
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#2 of 64 Old 08-21-2008, 04:42 PM
 
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I just saw this in the working moms forum and responded there since I recognized you from DDC!!

Because I fumed over there, I'll offer big hugs in this post!

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#3 of 64 Old 08-21-2008, 05:22 PM
 
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r u kiding me???? really 2 weeks! I was barely alive after 2 weeks with ds and they expect you to put your 2 week old in day care 8 hours a day! HOLY CRAP!!! wow

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#4 of 64 Old 08-21-2008, 05:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I just saw this in the working moms forum and responded there since I recognized you from DDC!!

Because I fumed over there, I'll offer big hugs in this post!
Thank you. Even though its just an internet chat forum, I seem to feel more... I dont know how to explain it... at home in this one.
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#5 of 64 Old 08-21-2008, 05:40 PM
 
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I'm not part of this board, but I saw this and I just had to chime in to give you my support. In Canada it is recognized that the child needs its mother and the mother needs time to recover for at least the first 15 weeks. After that, it is recognized that the child is best cared for by either parent for the next 35 weeks.

2-3 weeks is absurd. Is there some sort of human rights board that you can make a grievance with? Is there not a law stating a minimum maternity leave?

I am so sorry you have to deal with that pressure. Stand your ground and see what resources you have to help you.
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#6 of 64 Old 08-21-2008, 05:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm not part of this board, but I saw this and I just had to chime in to give you my support. In Canada it is recognized that the child needs its mother and the mother needs time to recover for at least the first 15 weeks. After that, it is recognized that the child is best cared for by either parent for the next 35 weeks.

2-3 weeks is absurd. Is there some sort of human rights board that you can make a grievance with? Is there not a law stating a minimum maternity leave?

I am so sorry you have to deal with that pressure. Stand your ground and see what resources you have to help you.
I wish we had the same benefits as women in Canada as well. I sometimes wonder why I dont become a Canadian citizen. There are so many things I am unhappy with here... but that is a discussion for another time and another thread
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#7 of 64 Old 08-21-2008, 05:43 PM
 
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2-3 weeks is sooo not enough time! Unless there are circumstances that prohibit, 2-3 months is much more reasonable. Maybe she meant to say months?
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#8 of 64 Old 08-21-2008, 05:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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2-3 weeks is sooo not enough time! Unless there are circumstances that prohibit, 2-3 months is much more reasonable. Maybe she meant to say months?
Nope, it was weeks. She was making plans for me to come back in February
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#9 of 64 Old 08-21-2008, 06:02 PM
 
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Some practical questions - how big is the office/company that you work for? Because if it is over 50 people, you can take unpaid FMLA leave and they can't penalize you for that. (I think it's 50 - I would check up on that because I'm not entirely sure)

Is there a written maternity/sick leave policy in your HR department? I don't know what you do for a living, so I have no idea if you even have an HR department!

Do you have to go back to work? I was going to get 9 weeks maternity leave at my law firm (I was an attorney before I became a SAHM) and that was 6 weeks leave plus any "vacation" I would take. I took about 3 days post partum to decide I wasn't going back.

The decision to go back can be hard. If you can financially swing it, maybe staying home is actually more cost effective than going back, espcially with the cost of day care. My husband still mentions that our income would be WAY more than it actually is if I went back to work, but then I remind him that we really don't need a flat screen HD tv, that our tv works just fine.
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#10 of 64 Old 08-21-2008, 06:06 PM
 
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I know what you mean - completely aboutthis group! I *heart* all the mommas here!! I read the other thread, and I hope that in talking with your boss, maybe some kind of compromise can come about? Would they be open to having the baby there, part-time, or maybe a p/t temp? 2 weeks is just not enough, especially if there is any type of complications or heaven forbid a c/s.

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#11 of 64 Old 08-21-2008, 06:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Some practical questions - how big is the office/company that you work for? Because if it is over 50 people, you can take unpaid FMLA leave and they can't penalize you for that. (I think it's 50 - I would check up on that because I'm not entirely sure)

Is there a written maternity/sick leave policy in your HR department? I don't know what you do for a living, so I have no idea if you even have an HR department!

Do you have to go back to work? I was going to get 9 weeks maternity leave at my law firm (I was an attorney before I became a SAHM) and that was 6 weeks leave plus any "vacation" I would take. I took about 3 days post partum to decide I wasn't going back.

The decision to go back can be hard. If you can financially swing it, maybe staying home is actually more cost effective than going back, espcially with the cost of day care. My husband still mentions that our income would be WAY more than it actually is if I went back to work, but then I remind him that we really don't need a flat screen HD tv, that our tv works just fine.
I am HR... I am the only employee in this office. And I dont get "maternity leave." I have to use my personal time.
Unfortunately, living in Massachusetts, I do have to go back. we cant get by on a single salary even though DH is a well paid plumber. 4 kids = poor.
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#12 of 64 Old 08-21-2008, 06:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I know what you mean - completely aboutthis group! I *heart* all the mommas here!! I read the other thread, and I hope that in talking with your boss, maybe some kind of compromise can come about? Would they be open to having the baby there, part-time, or maybe a p/t temp? 2 weeks is just not enough, especially if there is any type of complications or heaven forbid a c/s.
they would accomodate in the case of *knock on wood* c/s (thinking about it terrifies me)

They have to bend somewhat... Hes a doctor and shes a nurse for Pete's sake. They both have children and grandchildren and work with children...
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#13 of 64 Old 08-21-2008, 06:41 PM
 
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If you are HR, then you had already thought of my questions! Maybe they're afraid you're not coming back? Or that a temp might be too hard to work with? Maybe if you allay any fears they have, they might be more reasonable.

Sorry you're in this hard situation. Maternity leave rights in the US really, really stink.
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#14 of 64 Old 08-21-2008, 07:02 PM
 
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Not in you DDC but had to come in and give you big hugs mama. Not exactly the same situation here since I run my own business (daycare) but I'm only going to have a short leave as well... and then some time with my MIL helping out here.

Lisa, mama to Orion (7) , Fiona Star (born sleeping @ 38wks 12/6/08) , our bitty (m/c 7/27/09) , and Charlotte Athena (11/5/10)
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#15 of 64 Old 08-21-2008, 09:47 PM
 
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I completely understand. I'm basically going to have to work 10 hours a week for the month of January and February (THANKFULLY from home...but still...) in order to keep my medical benefits. Oh, and I"m the main money maker (like 90% of our income) and there is no way we can survive on one. So yeah. 10 hours a week of work. Thankfully, I can combine it so have 2 weeks straight of no work and then add in the extra 20 hours to another week or two, but at this point, it's not even for sure yet. It all has to be cleared with the boss.

So I could have taken up to 3 months off...but unpaid, since I would have about 10 8 hour days of PTO available.

It sucks being in America sometimes.

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#16 of 64 Old 08-21-2008, 10:50 PM
 
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Do you have disability insurance? We don't have maternity leave at my place of employment, but we do have disability insurance that pays 70% of your salary for 6-8 weeks after birth. Anyone who expects you to be back at work after only a few weeks isn't playing with a full deck, IMHO. Heck, I wasn't happy about going back after 7 weeks!
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#17 of 64 Old 08-21-2008, 10:55 PM
 
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The maternity leave system in the US is the second worst in the industrialized world and only 1 other country (Australia) doesn't have mandatory paid maternity leave. It's disgusting. To put it another way, out of 168 nations in a Harvard University study last year, 163 had some form of paid maternity leave, leaving the United States in the company of Lesotho, Papua New Guinea and Swaziland.

But there's a bill currently being pushed to update the FMLA to make required (by employers to provide) maternity/paternity leave PAID. I'm desperately hoping for this to pass, because it affects PATERNITY leave, too--meaning I could have DH home for weeks instead of not at all! I'm disabled and have a toddler... having a newborn and a toddler and being alone right from the start... that's a scary prospect!

http://www.momsrising.org/maternity

To write to congress to encourage them to pass it: http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o...aign_KEY=25313

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#18 of 64 Old 08-21-2008, 11:41 PM
 
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I dont have any adive. I just want to give you a !! Thats crazy, I cant imagine going back that soon.
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#19 of 64 Old 08-21-2008, 11:46 PM
 
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BY LAW YOU ARE ENTITLED TO 12 WEEKS OF MATERNITY LEAVE IF YOU HAVE WORKED THERE FOR AT LEAST A YEAR. Even if you haven't worked there that long- they would be hard pressed to eliminate your position without having a discrimination suite following their asses. :

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#20 of 64 Old 08-22-2008, 01:52 AM
 
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BY LAW YOU ARE ENTITLED TO 12 WEEKS OF MATERNITY LEAVE IF YOU HAVE WORKED THERE FOR AT LEAST A YEAR. Even if you haven't worked there that long- they would be hard pressed to eliminate your position without having a discrimination suite following their asses. :
Exactly--that's what the FMLA thing is right now. But Wal-Mart gets away with it with every pregnant employee they get, just about. They find ways to fire them that are "unrelated". Other employers do the same. It's really screwed up.

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#21 of 64 Old 08-22-2008, 02:30 AM
 
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That's mad. I think 6 weeks is ridiculous, but 2 or 3? I wasn't really up and about at 2 or 3 weeks! I was still weak and bleeding all the time.

Good luck. I'm sure this is redundant since you're in HR, but know your rights, and stand up for them!
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#22 of 64 Old 08-22-2008, 08:17 AM
 
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Actually, it's only the federal law to have 12 weeks unpaid maternity leave if there are a certain number of employees in the business - can't remember if it's 25 or 50, so no women is truly protected if she works at a small business. State laws may vary - I don't know about Massachusetts.
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#23 of 64 Old 08-22-2008, 08:40 AM
 
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The maternity leave system in the US is the second worst in the industrialized world and only 1 other country (Australia) doesn't have mandatory paid maternity leave. It's disgusting. To put it another way, out of 168 nations in a Harvard University study last year, 163 had some form of paid maternity leave, leaving the United States in the company of Lesotho, Papua New Guinea and Swaziland.
I live in a 'third world' country. Unless your contract was due to expire in that period and once you were working 12 months you get 12 weeks PAID (by Social Security) maternity leave with an additional 6 weeks PAID for complications. Some companies make up the difference in pay and some don't.
It does not matter how big or small your company is. And it shouldn't really. The size of the company does not affect the needs of the baby.
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#24 of 64 Old 08-22-2008, 08:40 AM
 
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Hugs mama! I have been in your shoes before, twice actually. Althought it was a little both with my 2nd adn 3rd children i had to return to work 2 weeks after birth. My 2nd i owned a childcare center with 36 children and 9 employee, however i was teh only one there licensed to direct teh center. ANd the state granted me a 2 wek waiver so i could be home for maternity leave. The regulations stated that I must have a licensed teacher in attendance 90% of the time the center was open and children were in attendance.. My other employees were well trained, qualified adn educated for their positions but no one had a degree or teachign license. SO I had to either close teh center for my maternity leave (which woudl have resulted in closing for good since childcare is very hard to find in teh area for babies and we had a lot of babies there, and once the parents found a placement for 6 weeks they wouldnt' have come back after. ) or I had to come back in 2 weeks. FORTUNATELY I was able to bring my DD with me and wear her all day and still nurse on demand etc, in the midst of teaching preschool adn directing, but i was physically exhausted. With my 3rd child i was doing home daycare and the parents of teh little girl i watched siad "we only have coverage for 2 weeks when you have the baby , so i'm sure you won't mind if she comes back for 1/2 days the first part of teh 3rd week adn then she'll be back full time or we'll have to find a new daycare casue we aren't using all our vacaton time to cover your maternity leave (MIND YOU I WASN"T PAID FOR ANY OF THE TIME OFF)" There wasn't much i coudl say casue i needed the income from watching her, so she came back 2 weeks after DS was born. (YET when her mom went to have a second child she took the full 12 weeks allowed as she did for theri first child.)
Which is why i found a way to rebudget our money and make do with a per diem job that i will not return to once this baby is born.
Sorry torant in your thread.. hope it works out better for you than it did for me.
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#25 of 64 Old 08-22-2008, 08:50 AM
 
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Another thing is in Maryland Lic'd daycares can NOT accept children under 6 weeks old. I learned that when I got my foster are lic. You must have someone at home to take a newborn. You may need to check your state but you may not have daycare available until 6 weeks. You doctor can also write you a medial slip not to release you from care unitl atleast 6 weeks. A friend had a 4th degree tear and her doc would not release her till 10 weeks.

Good luck and your boss is nuts

Jeana Christian momma to 4 sons Logan 18, Connor 15, Nathan 6, and bonus baby Jack 1
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#26 of 64 Old 08-22-2008, 09:25 AM
 
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Do you have disability insurance? We don't have maternity leave at my place of employment, but we do have disability insurance that pays 70% of your salary for 6-8 weeks after birth. Anyone who expects you to be back at work after only a few weeks isn't playing with a full deck, IMHO. Heck, I wasn't happy about going back after 7 weeks!
not to be a downer on this, but with my first child, i was told this. when i did go on maternity leave (my job gave three months unpaid leave where they hold your job for that time. part of the FMLA), i was granted six weeks disability, but the first four weeks were the grace period. so they paid me 75% of TWO WEEKS SALARY. i cried and cried, because my husband was in graduate school and I was the only person bringing home an income. luckily, i had saved enough that i wasn't banking on that, but you should check the policy. i didn't find that out until three weeks after my baby was born.

anyway, good luck everyone. it was a real eye opener getting pregnant and being a career woman. i had thought those things were fairly compatible until i got pregnant. naive me.

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#27 of 64 Old 08-22-2008, 09:42 AM
 
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That is complete BS!!! : I'm so sorry Mama! Another reason for me to hate US more these days... I was flipping about the 6 weeks! Ugh!

Seriously something has to be done in this country... it is disgusting.


And the FMLA law is they have to offer you 6 weeks unpaid if the company is larger than 50 people... If it's smaller than that they don't have to do anything... It's sick really. US really doesn't care about it's future apparently.


And yes... every company has a differe short therm disability provision... mine only has a one week grace period that I will get paid for anyway because they will pull my personal days... which annoys me really because I'd rather take that week as no-pay and tack the personal days onto the end of my leave to lengthen it... but here we have no choice, if you have PTO days they take them.

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#28 of 64 Old 08-22-2008, 10:13 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I did some research on this subject and it looks like one of the reasons the maternity leave situation in this country is so appalling us because of the fight for equal rights for women. We fought for equal rights and equal treatment... so they gave it to us. Without taking into account that we are not equal to men in all ways. That, in fact, we are quite different in that we bear children. Someone took equal rights a little too litterally... We have the same abilities and strengths and should be equal except for in this one area... other countries get this!
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#29 of 64 Old 08-22-2008, 11:40 AM
 
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I did some research on this subject and it looks like one of the reasons the maternity leave situation in this country is so appalling us because of the fight for equal rights for women. We fought for equal rights and equal treatment... so they gave it to us. Without taking into account that we are not equal to men in all ways. That, in fact, we are quite different in that we bear children. Someone took equal rights a little too litterally... We have the same abilities and strengths and should be equal except for in this one area... other countries get this!
You are correct... US took it as a fault that women can't work all the time and rather penalize us for it... well how do they expect their beloved country to grow and continue to be here in the future if no women bring babies into this world??

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#30 of 64 Old 08-22-2008, 12:01 PM
 
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I am so sorry. I had to return at 5 weeks to my teaching job. My DH was unemployed at the time, and I had my baby in July. I was not entitled to any paid leave because she was not born during the school year. : It sucked. I just stayed home after the twins.

Mama to 4 darlings. A ('03), O and K ('06), A ('09), and wife to M since 2002.
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