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<p>Wanting to cut my hours at work by one day per week, I thought I'd get a doctor's note first to be responsible.  They've fired employees recently for messing too much with their schedules and calling in sick too much, so I thought I was being careful.  My doctor claims she couldn't give me a note saying I could cut my hours, she only was willing to write a blanket "light duty" note.  I took it to my employer, who has since suspended me pending a NEW doctor's note saying I'm healthy and I can do my specific job (physical work), even though a light duty note in no way precludes me doing my job.</p>
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<p>So basically, even though I am perfectly healthy, if this second note isn't specific enough for my employer (a lawyer), he's forcing me to take early unpaid leave.  I'm only 16 weeks.  Unfortunately, he is within his rights under the PDA because he can use the light duty note to say I can't do my WHOLE job.  Even though I could even with the note's restrictions such as no lifting more than 25 lbs and no bending over from the waist.  This is a financial disaster for my family.</p>
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<p>How can I convince my doctor that I need more than just a form note?  Has this happened to any of you?</p>
 

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<p>I got a note to cut my hours back with DD1, but I was 32 weeks by then and BP was creeping up a bit. The note stated I could only work 8 hour shifts, course that meant the hospital made me work from 10pm-6am, the worst hours in the world, I would of rather worked 12 then having to go to work when everyone in the house was going to bed. </p>
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<p>At 16 weeks, I am not surprised that the doc wouldn't give you a note to cut back hours. I usually see moms get those towards the end of the pg. Since your boss isn't playing nice, even if you manage to get a new note stating decreased hours, do you think he wouldn't just come up with another excuse? Is there any chance of just getting another note saying you are healthy so you can continue to work longer even it you don't get that one day off?</p>
 

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Discussion Starter #3
<p>I don't know...I have a very physical job though, and because of preg. fatigue, I wanted to reduce the hours to what I was doing with my first pregnancy so the quality of my work doesn't suffer.</p>
 

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<p>Hey, I am in a similar situation.</p>
<p>I have SPD, which started around the beginning of 2nd trimester. At work I was on my feet (working with special needs kids  and horses in a horse barn!) and driving all day, and by the end of my work day, I couldn't stand without supporting myself using my upper body.</p>
<p>There basically are no light duties at my work. I just had to take early mat leave, which raised a lot of eyebrows, but it was what I needed, and it's going to prevent me from losing more mobility in third trimester.</p>
<p>That said, it was a blow to my self confidence and my finances to have to leave work early. We've had to move to a cheaper, smaller apartment, cancel my cell phone, gym membership, and the insurance on the car, and change our grocery shopping and our general spending habits. It still feels like it was worth it.</p>
 

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<p>I was forced to go on early maternity leave a few years ago, also in a law office.  I had an increase in BP and I told my boss informally that my care provider said I shouldn't work more than 40 hours a week and reduce stress.  I was worried (as were my midwives) that I was developing preeclampsia, which fortunately turned out not be the case.  I mentioned that as well in my email to my boss. </p>
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<p>I heard nothing for a week and then they called me into a meeting to try to force me to go on maternity leave effective the following day.  They had consulted outside counsel and said they couldn't be responsible if something happened to the baby -- in other words, they took my email as a threat that I would sue them if something happened to me or the baby.  Needless to say, the relationship was destroyed at that point (this was the final straw in a very long chain of events where we were mutually unhappy with each other) and I quit/was fired during my maternity leave. </p>
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<p>Saying all this to say, your boss is probably trying to cover his ass.  He's a lawyer and like all lawyers (and a lot of doctors!) he sees you as a potential litigant.  But, I have to say, I take the humane (or not) treatment of employees surrounding pregnancy and family issues as a litmus test.  If he's this heartless now, how accommodating will he be when you need to pump or leave by a certain time to pick up your child or care for a sick child?  Many workplaces, as unjust as it is, are not family friendly.  I'm not saying quit right now, but this is valuable information to have as you plan your future.</p>
 

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<p>Even if they haven't violated PDA you can be covered under the ADA (American's with Disabilities Act).  If they would alter job tasks for someone on crutches then they have to do so for you.  If they would give someone one day off a week for chemo then they have to do so for you.  I'm currently working from home with SPD and I had to envoke ADA instead of PDA to get it.  Of course I'm so demoralized by the way I've been treated I'd rather die than go back and work for this guy.</p>
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<p>Do you have an EEO office?  At least call HR.</p>
 

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<p>I work a physical job.  I had to resort to clomid and an IUI to get pregnant.  I was worried that the impact of the forklift going in and out of the trailers would cause me to miscarry.  I drove the forklift for a week every 3 weeks.  I talked to my boss who said he would be happy to work with me if I brought in a drs note.  I talked to my reproductive endo about it and she wrote me a note saying that I couldn't drive the forklift for the first trimester.  The day that I turned the note in I was told I either had to go out on short term disability or get a new note saying I could work with no restrictions.  The endo didn't want to write a note saying no restrictions and she said I didn't need to go out on short term so she was not going to fill out the paperwork.  It took me about a week to finally get her to fill out the paperwork.  I told her that it was my works decision.  To just right the facts on the short term disability paperwork. </p>
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<p>At 30 weeks I was having trouble keeping up with the physical demands at work.  Running up and down stairs 5-15 times a day, plus other running around.  I knew how it would play out and asked my midwife about it..  She suggested light duty.  I explained that work didn't have light duty and I would have to go out on short term disability.  She said we would write a note asking them to reduce my hours to 32 a week.  When I turned that note in, I was not surprised to be told I had to go out on short term disability again,</p>
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<p>Good luck with your employer.</p>
 

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<p>I’ve been in a similar situation like others’ are describing. W/ my last pg, I had hypertension. At first, it seemed to be related to how many hours a week I was working (40 scheduled, but easily 50+ in practice), plus the fact that it was always worse on night shift. I wanted to cut to part time with no night shift bc I desperately needed the income. I had a MW and an OB request specifically reduced hours and no night shift, but was told by my employer I had to either be able to satisfy the full capacity of my job or go on leave. I went on leave. I qualified for short-term disability, but, when that ran out, I cut into my FMLA before my DD was born. </p>
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<p>In your situation, tho, if you are perfectly healthy, I don’t think you qualify for protection under short term disability or ADA, bc an uncomplicated pregnancy itself isn’t considered a disability. Gently- it truly does sound like it is a personal choice for you to reduce your hours- not that I blame you AT ALL- mothering our little unborns absolutely takes precedence over work-induced stress. However, to spin it another way, say you weren’t pg and you were feeling fatigued from working so much- would you expect your employer to immediately cut your hours just bc you asked? I’m not feeling like they are in the wrong here to deny you reduced hours, simply because you <em>are</em> capable of working the full job you are hired for, but you desire not to. </p>
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<p>Good luck. If you need the income, I’d probably get the note saying you are healthy and save up disability and FMLA for in case you end up really needing it for pregnancy complications. At 16weeks, you should be just around the corner from second tri honeymoon energy, so I hope it comes soon for you.  </p>
 

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Discussion Starter #9
<p>Actually, I would expect them to change my hours.  I am a massage therapist and the chain I work at is supposed to accomodate our physical capabilities within reason.  Maybe I didn't make that clear, but we are allowed to adjust our schedules as needed because there is so much repetitive motion injury in the massage industry.  So I am not being selfish or unreasonable since the single people I work with change their schedules with impunity for much less reason.  Sometimes the employer knows that they don't have good reasons and they get fired; hence my desire to take in a doctor's note. My doctor gave me a note saying I could return to work, so there will be no forced maternity leave.</p>
 
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