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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
(X-posted in I'm pregnant)
For those of you who work outside the home, are working on your education or WAH, have you told your employer/school yet? And if not, do you know when you will tell? If you already had a baby, how long did you wait to tell your professors/employer?

I was thinking about holding off until I can't hide it anymore... but then I wonder if that's rude/unprofessional... (that should be sometime around 20 weeks I guess?)

The background:
Since i'll be receiving company-provided STD ins, and using paid time off and FMLA time after that runs out, and I'll be using my personally funded but company guaranteed FSA for some of our expenses, I will return to work till the end of the year, but then intend to stay home full time. (not to mention the fully (company) paid really good medical insurance for the whole process) I feel guilty using up all the FSA before I've actually made all the contributions, and I feel bad using a whole year's worth of PTO without actually accruing the hours; so that's why I hoped to come back for a few weeks to finish out the year.

But, I know I'm the only one who can do my job here (right now at least). And I know that I might get some grief about leaving for 3 months during our "busy time." AND, my boss treats me like I'm 16 or something, even though I'm far from it, so I think he could possibly be surprised. Also, I'm up for a raise in April, and I bet that it will be smaller if he knows I won't be here for 3 monts of this year...

I dont want to burn any bridges, just in case something happens to DH's job and I need to come back to work... the benefits are good, even if the pay and environment arent that awesome.

Given the circumstances, what do you think? Can you share your experience about delivering the news and when you did it? TIA!!
 

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I would totally delay telling-- I remember someone saying that men only have to give two weeks notice-- if there isn't any benefit to you telling early I wouldn't. Lots of people don't tell till 12 weeks. 20 weeks still leaves four months to plan for your abscence-- plently of time.

Also, you can tell HR, get your benefits ect lined up and still not tell anyone. I wanted to stop traveling, and my boss was really good about not telling anyone else until I was ready.
 

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with my first pregnancy, i had a female boss and we were very close - shared an office, talked about everything . . . and often bled at the same time. when she got her period, i was like, "what the heck? mine is, like, a week late."
she was like, "are you pregnant?" i was like, "no way, i mean i can't be, and besides i'm all PMSy." uh-huh. hello, early pregnancy feels exactly like pms. so, she knew before i did.

second pregnancy, i had a dink for a boss and didn't tell him until he was going to be at a social thing with my parents, who did know. i could just imagine my drunk step-mother saying something, so i told him, at 12 weeks. otherwise, i would have waited longer, like 16-20 weeks. 4-5 months is plenty of time to cross-train and plan for maternity leave.
 

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i was a grad student and ta when i got pregnant and i didn't tell anyone but one classmate until the beginning of my fifth month. My son was born in the summer and i didn't teach then, but still, my (female) advisor/boss was up in arms about it ruining my career ( and for now it did- i stopped school to sah with him, but i couldn't be happier. Especially when the baby comes, its easier to meet your baby's needs before your boss's needs. When i would think about it all when i was pregnant i used to feel torn, but last semester, when i was going to school and taking care of him, it was very simple, baby needs- first, others, after that.
 

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I waited until at least 16 weeks, maybe longer. It was long enough that I started to show and everyone was gossiping behind my back but whatever, I could have cared less. I did tell two trusted co-workers/friends but I knew they would keep it a secret.

Going to HR to get benefits lined up sooner rather than later is a good idea.

For clarrification, are you planning on taking FMLA leave and then returning for a short period of time before leaving permenantly?

Quote:

Originally Posted by LZP View Post
(X-posted in I'm pregnant)
Since i'll be receiving company-provided STD ins, and using paid time off and FMLA time after that runs out, and I'll be using my personally funded but company guaranteed FSA for some of our expenses, I will return to work till the end of the year, but then intend to stay home full time. (not to mention the fully (company) paid really good medical insurance for the whole process) I feel guilty using up all the FSA before I've actually made all the contributions, and I feel bad using a whole year's worth of PTO without actually accruing the hours; so that's why I hoped to come back for a few weeks to finish out the year.
I read your post as you are planning to return for a short period of time before leaving again. Bare with me - I ask because here how it worked at my former employer (big-ish bank):

If I left at the end of leave, any un-earned vacation/PTO time that I may have used for leave had to be paid back. Meaning if the company advanced me 12 sick days (one per month for example) to use during the STD waiting period and/or FMLA period but I techincially only "earned" 4, I would have to pay back the other 8.

Same type of thing for FSA or dependent care accounts. If the $5,000 (or whatever the amount is) became available on Jan 1 and I used all of it in the first couple months then quit before it was fully funded, I would have had to repay the difference.

Reasonable enough....

BUT/AND, and this is sort of important if I am understanding the OP correctly, the company had policies in place to prevent people from taking advantage of benefit package (their words, not mine) and accuring time off by working the calendar, so to speak, and then quitting after coming back for a short time period.

I wish I could remember the details but I can't but there was definately language in there to the effect of "if employee leaves Bank X voluntarily with 90 days of taking x,y,z leave, the cost of such and such benefits received during said period will be repaid by the employee."

All this came into play for me because of how my leave fell into the calendar year, which is why I remember the "what happens if I decided to leave again" clause.

OP - educate yourself on STD if you haven't already.

I got a nasty surprise when I went to collect STD over my maternity leave. It paid out nearly nothing.

The 6-week benefit was, in reality, a 4 week waiting period where I had to use all earned and unearned PTO. STD didn't kick into week 5 and then only paid for week 5 and 6 at some % of my salary.

It worked out ok for me because I had a ridiculous about of time built up but I was really, really shocked. I asked HR several times about the STD benefit and was told over and over "oh yeah, it covers the first 6 weeks you are off work." Never, until the very end when I was filling out my paperwork, did anyone mention that the first 4 weeks were unpaid if I didn't have PTO to use.
 

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I did not tell because my work is Peyton Place.

My boss had previously violated confidentiality, HR was being overhauled, and I didn't feel it was anyone's business, since I was doing my job same as I ever had.

They figured it out around 5 months.
 

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I waited until after our first Dr.'s appointment (8 weeks). In a larger office, where there would be a temp covering for me, I wouldn't worry about telling so soon. However, my co-workers had to spread my work around until I got back, so I wanted them to know asap. They had to plan their vacations around my mat leave.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks everyone so much for your responses!
Caneel- First, thanks for your detailed response! Yes, I'm planning to return for whatever remains in November and December, after being out for hopefully 12 weeks total, and then leaving permenantly after Dec 31. (at least this is the plan so far.)

Our HR person is a friend of mine at work, but a confidentiality nightmare. She openly discusses HR issues with co-workers in our very middle-school-ish work place, so until I want everyone to know all the details of my business, I cant talk to her.

I have read and re-read our poor excuse for a company/employee handbook, specifically focusing on the STD section... I do have to use 2 weeks PTO and then the STD kicks in after that. However, since the general rule is that you only "get" 6 weeks for vag birth and 8 for C/S, I'd really be using 2 weeks PTO, and 4 weeks STD, then the remaining 8 weeks would be unpaid, unless I elected to take my remaining PTO (which I will probably save for random days in November/December, honestly!)

The parts I'm not sure about are whether FMLA kicks in AFTER the STD ends, or if they run concurrently.

I also dont know if I'll stop accruing PTO while I'm out for that 3 months, In reality, we get all of our hours in a "bank" at the beginning of the year, yet the handbook discusses accrual on a weekly/monthly basis... like I said, it's a poor excuse. contradictions galore, and with a privately held company, and the owner as my boss, there isn't much room for argument. his interpretation is the ONLY interpretation (and that can change to suit his needs.)

There aren't any clauses about paying back any time used within a certain time of terminating employment, nor is there a clause regarding the FSA. (But thanks for making me think about it, I might double check!!) The only thing is those 8 weeks when I don't get a pay check, I won't be making the contributions to the account, and by law, the employer has to fully fund the whole account on January 1. So, there will be a shortfall in my contribution(but company is out the money either way).

So far, the general concensus is that it wouldnt be terrible to wait, right? I figure even if I go early, if I tell at 20ish weeks, that would still be enough time to get bene's squared away, paperwork started, and plan for my temp replacement...?
 

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I think (hopefully someone with more or HR experience will chime in) that FMLA starts when you go on leave and that STD is a seperate benefit, that they run concurrently.

STD that kicks in after two weeks is pretty decent, IMO.

I don't think there is anything wrong with waiting until you are comfortable disclosing your pregnancy. Companies need to deal with people coming and going all the time and if the company/boss can't deal with it, it is telling about the capability of the management.
 

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A couple of other things to think about:

1) they may (legally) require you to use up your PTO during FMLA before taking leave without pay

2) If money is deducted from your paycheck to contribute to health insurance, you may be on the hook for your portion of health insurance while you're out. So if you have zero income, you may need to cut your employer a check for your health insurance contribution if you're not getting paid.

Otherwise, when you tell people is all about what's most comfortable and beneficial for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by Caneel View Post
Companies need to deal with people coming and going all the time and if the company/boss can't deal with it, it is telling about the capability of the management.
that's sort of the thing- we have REALLY low turnover. like, it's a BIG deal if someone leaves (short term or permanently). Many, actually, most people have been here 10 years or more. I am still considered "new," and am going on my 5th year here. this is like no other company I've ever encountered.

Anywho, thanks for giving me some good things to think about/ask about. And I agree. the STD kicking in after 2 weeks is nice. I'll take anything over $0 for those weeks!

I'll look into the FMLA, but what you say makes more sense than what I was thinking!

ETA: Mosaic- we (thankfully and very luckily) have fully paid medical benefits here. I only contribute to the FSA. And, I didnt even think of the PTO during FMLA thing... I think our company does let you elect to take it all unpaid, but another good thing to keep in mind, since I was hoping to "save" some time for around Thanksgiving!
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Mosaic View Post
A couple of other things to think about:

1) they may (legally) require you to use up your PTO during FMLA before taking leave without pay
It was very much a yes-you-do, no-you-don't need to use PTO back and forth as I progressed through my time off. I nearly lost two weeks of pay at the end because I thought I could carry it forward.

Turns out I was required to use all available PTO during FMLA. Seriously, I was working for a publicly traded company and the cluess HR department had no idea what they were doing.

If the boss/owner sort of changes the rules to suit the situation, maybe using all available during leave won't be a bad idea.
 

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I waited until 12 weeks when I was pg with my DD. I wanted to get out of that first trimester before telling my boss.
I fully intended to go back to work for at least a few weeks before "realizing" I wanted to be a SAHM. I really wanted the maternity leave package and the insurance offered by my company, both of which were contingent on returning to work. I didn't feel too guilty about it, honestly.
That said, I only wanted to tell at 12 weeks b/c it was really hard keeping it a secret much longer. I had gained some weight and was excited to tell my co-workers.
 

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I waited a long time - maybe about 4 months, maybe longer. I had started to show, but still did not tell anybody. Lile a pp said, men only have to give 2 weeks before a long absence, such as for a surgery. I believe that it is none of their business, and I was annoyed that people felt I should give some kind of announcement.

If I am lucky enough to conceive again, I probably won't tell until I am even farther along - like 6-7 months.
 

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Your job sounds a lot like mine. Right down to the HR person.

With my last pregnancy, I did wait until after 12 weeks. I'd had a miscarriage before and didn't want to have to untell people. And they did bring in someone to cover for me so I had to have time to train her. I really don't think there's any problem with waiting awhile. I'd give at least a month or two notice, but beyond that, it's up to you. I didn't show until at least half way through my pregnancies, so I didn't have to worry about that.
 

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I waited a long time - maybe about 4 months, maybe longer. I had started to show, but still did not tell anybody. Lile a pp said, men only have to give 2 weeks before a long absence, such as for a surgery. I believe that it is none of their business, and I was annoyed that people felt I should give some kind of announcement.

If I am lucky enough to conceive again, I probably won't tell until I am even farther along - like 6-7 months.
 

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I waited as long as I could with both pregnancies. 16 weeks for the first one and more like 8 for the second (Boy did I pop-out). Honestly I think it's pretty standard practice not to tell when you are like a week late. I had underwent fertility tx, too earlier in the year so boss knew I was trying. Turned out they didn't work, though.
 
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