I am pregnant with a late May due date. I am a teacher in NJ and have been for 9 years. I have told my district that I am pregnant and will need time off at the end of the year. ( approx. 34 days)
I was told by the head of human resources that I have enough sick days to use and it shouldn't be a problem. At first I didn't think anything of it because a lot of other teachers have done this as well but as I think more about it, something is definitely wrong with this information.
I've tried getting a straight answer as to what I am entitled to and how long but all I get is the run around from my district. The way I see it, if I use my sick days to go on maternity leave than I can't have another baby for 4 years until i accumulate enough sick days to do so. Also, this would affect my retirement because unused sick days are paid at the end. On top of all of this would be the fact that any woman in my district who has a child will automatically be at a disadvantage because men will always make out more in retirement.
Can anyone recommend somewhere to call for a straight answer? Our union reps are in the dark about this and I am not going to use my sick days if I don't have to.
Any advice will be greatly appreciated!
Here's the way it's working for me: my EDD is 3/8.
* My last day of work is 2/19
* I'm using sick/personal days until the day after spring break, so I'll get normal paychecks until then
* After that, I'm doing the 6 weeks of NJ Family Leave--I think I get paid through the state. Not sure, but I imagine that my "summer vacation fund" will be used then, and then my NJFL checks will come later. Just anticipating beaucracy!
* The last couple of weeks of the school year, the NJFL will run out, so I won't get any pay in June. I'll still be insured though.
* My contract says I can take up to a calendar year off, but I'll be returning to school in September due to financial constraints
* We get our sick days at the beginning of the year, so I'll start out the year with 10 sick + 3 personal + 3 family illness that I can use.
Your district can absolutely NOT dictate when you can have a baby. You just need to plan, financially.
If you don't have a copy of your contract, you may be able to find it online at NJ Perc: http://www.perc.state.nj.us/publicsectorcontracts.nsf
Here's info about the NJ Family Leave Act:
Just be aware that if you are the first person in your district to take use the NJ Family Leave Insurance, you may struggle a bit with them. You are entitled to it, but they may not know how to do actually file for it. My colleague who was the first to take it in our district said that there was some confusion and some delay in getting her checks.
1. The paid sick day thing at retirement is a privilege that most people don't have. It's definitely not a right.
2. The paid sick day day at retirement thing may very well likely be gone, or at least be capped, by the time we all retire
Once again, I reiterate: if you can save money so you can be home without your paycheck, then you can have the baby any time you want.
I spoke to another teacher this weekend who just had a baby and she too was told to use her sick days. My husband and I can afford, through careful planning, going on his salary for 6 to 10 weeks should I need but what makes my blood boil is that nothing was mentioned about partial paid materanty leave or FMLA.
Will update...thanks for the support
I would double check directly with the state.
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I wouldn't bank on those sick days at retirement. It's still such a long way away, and so much will change before then.
Wanted to add that I got the full 6 weeks I was entitled to be paid for as per my contract. I took off more time that that (and still am) unpaid.
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