maternity leave

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from SSBride09. Show SSBride09's posts

    maternity leave

    So I'm not pregnant yet, but hoping to be soon, and wondering how maternity leave works at most companies.  My company does not offer short term disability and essentially all maternity leave is unpaid unless vacation time is use. 

    Interested to know what other people's experiences have been?  Is this normal?
     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from Arcain. Show Arcain's posts

    Re: maternity leave

    SS, it's pretty normal, unfortunately. If your company has above a certain number of employees and you're full time, they're required under the Family and Medical Leave Act to give you six weeks of leave (unpaid) and hold your job for you.

    I'm lucky, as I work for a small organization not covered by FMLA, but I get 6 weeks paid and another 6 unpaid. My husband's company, on the other hand, is covered by FMLA but provides no paid leave.

    It's pretty depressing -- we're one of the few countries that doesn't mandate some kind of paid parental leave. In any case, good luck!
     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from cicirose. Show cicirose's posts

    Re: maternity leave

    I'm still pretty early in the pregnancy so I am not totally certain about all the nuances of our maternity leave rules. It sounds like we have STD with 100% salary for 6 or 8 weeks depending on vaginal/c-sec birth. We have to use 1 week of sick leave before STD kicks in. (Does anyone know if that means you really only get 5 or 7 weeks of STD or you get the 6 or 8 in addition to using the 1 week of sick leave?) Afterwards, you need to use up any available vacation or personal time before going unpaid. We are covered under FMLA and can take up to 12 weeks.

    Perhaps you could look into short term disability policies before you get pregnant to see if it's worthwhile to purchase?
     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from LilSprout. Show LilSprout's posts

    Re: maternity leave

    Cici - I had the exact same leave situation, and that week of PTO/sick leave counted toward the STD leave...so it ended up being only 5 weeks.  I thought that was unfair, they were double-dipping! 

    Mine looked like this:

    1 week of PTO
    5 weeks of STD (paid at 100% due to my length of employment)
    6 weeks unpaid
    2 additional weeks of PTO (because I had it to use up - we can't carry over)

    14 weeks total.  (And not long enough!!!)
     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from SSBride09. Show SSBride09's posts

    Re: maternity leave

    Sounds like the short term disability does help a lot by at least covering the 5-6 weeks.  Does anyone know if you can purchase this on your own?  I researched it a bit and think only companies can do this on behalf of employees. 
     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from luvRIboy. Show luvRIboy's posts

    Re: maternity leave

    In MA, even if you're not covered by FMLA, there is a provision that allows 8 weeks unpaid leave for the birth/adoption of each child (so if you have twins, you're eligible for 16 weeks, as opposed to the 12 for FMLA). 

    My last pregnancy, I had just started my job, so wasn't technically eligible for anything, but we talked about it and I ended up doing 10 weeks + 2 weeks part-time to wean back in, all unpaid.  This time, I'm eligible for our maternity leave, so I get 6 weeks paid, will be using 5 weeks of vacation/sick/flex time, and then plan to come back part time for 2-4 weeks to wean back in.  I'm also proposing a 4 day schedule when I go back to work this time...would love that day at home during the week if it works out! 

    I definitely recommend starting back slowly...it's a big adjustment to be back with adults and using that part of your brain after weeks of feeding/changing/sleeping/bathing/repeat...and it's an adjustment being away from your baby too.  I went back 2 days the first week, 3 the second, and then back to full time. 

    Also, we did this last time and are doing it again this - we started a separate savings account when we found out I was pregnant to cover at least some of maternity leave...we didn't want to feel guilty about ordering takeout or going for coffee during that time, or that we were dipping into our "real" savings to do it.  It was so nice to have that money already waiting for us when the time came!  I know other people who started putting money on gift cards...same idea, but they bought Target and Stop n Shop cards and would add to them every month, so things like groceries and diapers would be covered.
     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from luvRIboy. Show luvRIboy's posts

    Re: maternity leave

    On Short Term Disability...if you're not pregnant already, sign up now!  Once you are pregnant, you can't usually sign up, unless it's a new job, because it's then considered a "pre-existing condition". 

     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from jc4321. Show jc4321's posts

    Re: maternity leave

    I recently had my FMLA meeting at work. Our company just started offering Short Term disability, and I agree that if yours does, sign up now! Unfortunately, our policy is just ok, IMO. It covers a max. of 6 weeks, but the first two would have to be taken prior to the birth of the baby if there is medical necessity. So, I'm really only planning on using 4 weeks, and we get 60% pay. The other 8 weeks are covered by my sick and vacation time.

    My DH is eligible for 12 weeks FMLA/paternity leave, too. He gets the 1st week paid if taken w/in the first 12 weeks of birth. Any additional time needs to be covered by vacation/sick time. We're hoping that we can keep him home with the little one for 5-6 weeks. We really want to wait on day care as long as we can.

    Good luck with planning!
     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from kiwigal. Show kiwigal's posts

    Re: maternity leave

    As long as you are investigating possibilities, I'd also suggest trying to find out what would happen if you had a complicated pregnancy. My school actually has a separate maternity leave benefit that differs from FMLA. We get 8 weeks paid maternity leave, and can take up to 12 weeks (the last 4 unpaid) using FMLA time. I had a very difficult pregnancy with #2 after a generally OK one with #1. I had to take 6 weeks leave in the first trimester because I was so sick with hyperemesis that I was unable to work. Then I was placed on bed rest at 34 weeks because of a placental abruption. So, I used up all my FMLA time before the baby even arrived. But, luckily, I still got the separate 8 weeks leave after #2 arrived.
     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from cicirose. Show cicirose's posts

    Re: maternity leave

    In Response to Re: maternity leave:
    [QUOTE]Sounds like the short term disability does help a lot by at least covering the 5-6 weeks.  Does anyone know if you can purchase this on your own?  I researched it a bit and think only companies can do this on behalf of employees. 
    Posted by SSBride09[/QUOTE]

    I just assumed you could get your own policy. I had no idea you may only be able to get it through your employer.

    ETA - thanks LilSprout for the clarification! Not what I was hoping to hear though :(
     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from Chiclet831. Show Chiclet831's posts

    Re: maternity leave

    SS - you can purchase individual disability insurance. I recently started working with a financial advisor who recommended it to me as I am the primary wage earner in my family. The company he recommended is called RiverSource. It might be worth looking into.
     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from SSBride09. Show SSBride09's posts

    Re: maternity leave

    I haven't had any luck finding an insurance company that offers it to individuals (only companies) even if your not pregnant yet.  If anyone has heard of one I'd love to do it since my company doesn't offer it at all.
     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from wrkingmom. Show wrkingmom's posts

    Re: maternity leave

    In Response to Re: maternity leave:
    [QUOTE]SS - you can purchase individual disability insurance. I recently started working with a financial advisor who recommended it to me as I am the primary wage earner in my family. The company he recommended is called RiverSource. It might be worth looking into.
    Posted by Chiclet831[/QUOTE]
    Chiclet - What you typically can buy is Long Term disability which kicks in after typically a short term disability policy would run out.  Independent Insurance companies such as Riversource/IDS would sell this.  And typically a pregnancy would not be covered as there is a longer waiting period and you must be disabled where as a pregnancy recovery you would not stay disabled that long.  It is more like if you are a Doctor or Nurse and develop MS so you can not work because of the tremors, Cancer, an accident where paralysis develops.  Some policies cover for a disability from what you are trained and educated to do while others will pay out only if you are so disabled that you can not do any employment such as take orders at McDonalds.  Important to understand the differences and know what you are paying for.

    As for original poster - can you ask your HR - it varies greatly as you have seen from company to company - I get 12 weeks - 5 day waiting period from sick and vacation time, then short term disability kicks in then FMLA sets in.  My base is covered but commissions are not as they are classified as a bonus not commission.  So I really get about 60% pay.  Another note - if you have short term disability you cant break that up - like take some of it return to work then finish it - you are disabled or you are not.  FMLA can be broken up so I could return after 8 weeks and take the last 4 sporadically.  So what I am saying is there is more then just how many weeks and why it is important to ask.  HR should keep it confidential one would hope.
     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from framerican51008. Show framerican51008's posts

    Re: maternity leave

    I know someone who purchased her own STD so that she could have some of her leave unpaid.  I will ask her what company she used or if she somehow did it through her employer.

    Someone above mentioned that FMLA is 6 weeks, so I just wanted to clarify that it's 12.

    Cici - Like you, I had to use sick days during the waiting period for STD to kick in.  Using up PTO does not extend the total number of paid weeks, so for me it was still 6. 
    Although, I ran into one of those things that varies from company to company... I was put on bed rest a week before DD was born and through some top secret rule, I was paid for that week and then 6 weeks, without even producing a doctor's note.  So in my situation, I was paid for the PTO and then 6 weeks STD, but that isn't the norm.  Made me really grateful for my employer!

     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: maternity leave

    I think this Aflac STD is available to purchase individually
     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from clc51510. Show clc51510's posts

    Re: maternity leave

    My company is unique in the fact that I get 100% of my salary for 12 weeks. The company actually covers all of the cost.  We do have STD options available to us (AFLAC and Dearborn) but they are not paid for by the company.

    Just curious, does your DH's company offer STD?  If so, could he sign up both of you for STD through his company and have it cover any part of your expenses while you're out on leave?  I never looked into STD but it's worth researching.
     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from Liv22. Show Liv22's posts

    Re: maternity leave

    I believe my friend used Aflac to cover her unpaid maternity because she had her 2nd baby while at a new job. She is visiting this Sunday so I can ask her what she did. I am also learning to be very thankful to my company. Between all the benefits, I recieved 10 full weeks of pay and took 2 weeks of sick time. My company kicked in for whatever STD didn't cover. This benefit was for employees that have worked here longer than 5 years. They definitely have my loyalty until I am done having kids.
     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from SSBride09. Show SSBride09's posts

    Re: maternity leave

    I tried Aflac and STD is only available to employers.  framerican, if you wouldn't mind asking your friend I'd love to know if there is any company that will sell STD to an individual.

    clc, DH is a consultant and on my benefits so unfortunately that wouldn't work for us, but great idea.

    Its looking more and more like I need to either do a lot of saving or switch companies if I want any part of maternity leave to be covered. 
     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from clc51510. Show clc51510's posts

    Re: maternity leave

    SS - could you possibly talk to HR and see if there is any leeway? Do you have the type of job that could allow you to be productive from home? Perhaps you could work it out that you work from home 1 - 2 days a week while on leave and still receive a portion of your salary?  I would say that if you like the job that you're currently at it's worth asking before looking to make a move.  The worst they can do is say no.  Good luck!

    ETA: is there anyone at the company that recently took maternity leave that you are friendly with? They might be able to provide you with some information on how they handled it.  You can't be the first one to have this sort of concern.
     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from kiwigal. Show kiwigal's posts

    Re: maternity leave

    In Response to Re: maternity leave:
    [QUOTE]SS - could you possibly talk to HR and see if there is any leeway? Do you have the type of job that could allow you to be productive from home? Perhaps you could work it out that you work from home 1 - 2 days a week while on leave and still receive a portion of your salary?  I would say that if you like the job that you're currently at it's worth asking before looking to make a move.  The worst they can do is say no.  Good luck!
    Posted by clc51510[/QUOTE]

    As a been there/done that mom, I would caution a first-time mom to think really long and hard about agreeing to work from home during a maternity leave. Having a newborn is exhausting in ways you can't comprehend until you've lived through it. Plus, remember too that MOM is recovering physically from the effects of the birth for the first couple of weeks. Though newborns may sleep a lot (and they do), they also eat every two hours, so you won't get long periods of uninterrupted time to work. (My newborn would take 30-40 minutes per feeding in the beginning so you have to consider that as well.) Most days it's hard enough to get a shower or make yourself something decent to eat. Plus, the last thing you wil probably feel like doing is working or checking in on the office. You will be learning how to take care of your baby and bonding with her/him.

    Now, working part-time from home after a leave, that's another story. But, again, be prepared. You'll need help to get uninterrupted blocks of time to work. My DH takes care of DS 2 days a week (he's self-employed), but the reality is that he gets very little business done during those days. He has to make up that work at nights and on weekends when I am home. Just some food for thought...
     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from bostongrl. Show bostongrl's posts

    Re: maternity leave

    Also, be careful with switching jobs.  You have to be at a company for 1 year for FMLA to apply.  (not sure about the MA 8 weeks)  My company has what seems to be the standard 1 week PTO, 5 weeks STD paid, 6 weeks unpaid. 
     
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from luvRIboy. Show luvRIboy's posts

    Re: maternity leave

    Following up on what bostongrl said about switching jobs.  If you are pregnant when you accept a new job (as I was), once you receive the official offer letter, let them know and negotiate maternity leave as part of your overall negotiations.  Once they've offered you the job, they can't take it back because you're pregnant, and before you start is your best time to negotiate. 

    If you find out you're pregnant shortly after starting, I'd use a similar tactic...don't wait too long into your pregnancy to bring it up to your manager so that you have time to figure things out together; it's a conversation and a negotiation, not anything set in stone.  I'm pretty sure you're covered my Mass family leave policy upon hire (so the 8 weeks), but it never hurts to ask for more, as long as you realize it will likely all be unpaid.  Of course, it also depends on what your job is, etc (accountant due during tax season vs. due on May 1, for example) 

     
  23. You have chosen to ignore posts from purplecow89. Show purplecow89's posts

    Re: maternity leave

    Do you belong to any kind of trade association or professional organization?  Or is there one you could join?  Some of them offer insurance plans that members can buy into.  I know the American Chemical Society for chemistry professionals does, perhaps there is something like that for your field? 
     
  24. You have chosen to ignore posts from summerbride09. Show summerbride09's posts

    Re: maternity leave

    I am a teacher and my due date is in June. Perfect, you would think, right? Well...not so much. Depending on when LO is born, I will use sick days from the birth date to the end of the school year. The summer is essentially a void, as I won't be working anyways. However, I wanted to take an additional month, so for the month of September, I must take an unpaid leave. Even if I have 20 more sick days to use, I can't. It has to be unpaid.

    Now, if my due date had been in any other month of the school year, I would get to use as many sick days as I had, essentially making my leave paid (up to 6 weeks). But, alas....apparently June isn't the most ideal time to have a baby if you work in education!
     
  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from LCGCmomma. Show LCGCmomma's posts

    Re: maternity leave

    I have a Colonial Penn STD policy and it completely potable - meaning that it is attached to me, and not to my job. My premiums come out of my debit account, etc. It is not part of my paycheck deductions and I think that you can sign up for a policy without anything from your employer. The only thing to know is that if you start a new policy, then you have to wait a year to get pregnant. Otherwise it is considered a "pre-existing condition" and the STD doesn't cover it at all. In terms of how long it covers, how much you get paid, and how long you wait to get paid...all of those things depend on the exact plan you sign up for and how much you want to put in for premiums up front.

    FMLA will ensure you have up to 12 weeks of leave (for various reasons, not just maternity) in any 12 month period of time. It does NOT provide any provisions about getting paid during that time. It just ensures that you can't get fired/demoted because you have been out for up to 12 weeks. It typically doesn't kick in until you have been employed for a full year. The MA state law allows for 8 weeks of maternity leave when you are not eligible for other benefits, such as FMLA. So if you have started a new job recently and get pregnant, or start a new job while already pregnant, it will cover the 8 weeks. Agagin, if does NOT provide payment during that time, just ensures that you will still have your position or equivalent when you get back.

    The advice on putting aside a seperate savings fund is a great one - that way there is something set up so you aren't scrambling to cover bills when the baby gets here. My STD plan covered 60% of my salary for half of my maternity leave - the rest was vacation/sick time or unpaid. So having a little bit set aside was critical.
     
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