Post # 1
Hi! I am pregnant and got put on bed rest for a week, then today it was prolonged till mid month…so fairly long. I told my boss immediately of course, but I am quite certain that he is annoyed and fairly inconvenienced. I really want my boss, and my colleagues to know that I feel poorly about putting them in this situation, (yet also want them to understand that the leave is valid, this part is less important I guess). I feel quite guilty, and I am wondering, what would you recommend I do to maintain peace and connection with work? A group email to colleagues? Call my boss during the day (to say what?)
If you have any insight, I’m listening!
Post # 2
Ugh I’m sorry you are on bed rest! It is hard to say exactly since I don’t know what you do, but for me it would probably make sense to send an email update that says you are out, hoping to be back as soon as you can, and are sorry for the inconvenience it causes them/are frustrated yourself. Then give any information that will be useful to them if possible and, if it makes sense, things you will deal with when you are back. If it makes sense maybe say you will check your email once a day/are available by phone/whatever to answer questions (if this is even allowed by whatever mechanism is protecting your job right now!). Unless you are close to your boss that sounds like an awkward call :/ Hang in there!
Post # 3
I teach esl to adults, so my colleagues have to take over my students :S…
Your email contants are a good start, thanks.
We are kind of close, but what is there really to say to my boss…
Post # 4
FrenchNewlyWed: I would be sure to transmit any knowledge on your class/students to those taking over your class while you’re on bedrest. Give them notes on how to expect students to behave, any specifics to your curriculum and anything that you were working on with specific students to develop. Also struggles of the class, so that their well prepared.
You could check in with them to see how things are progressing and talk with them about ways to address any new struggles that have arisen.
I would check in with your boss to see if there’s anything you can prepare while you’re out of the office to take some of the burden off of your colleagues.
Post # 5
1) I wouldn’t use the word “sorry” anywhere in the e-mail. This isn’t your fault and you have nothing to apologize for and nothing to feel guilty about.
2) I’d send sincere thanks for specific actions taken on your behalf – the other teachers taking your students, your boss coordinating it, etc. I wouldn’t mention any vague “inconvenience”.
3) I’d remind people you aren’t faking: “I’m very eager to return as soon as the doctor approves it!”
Post # 6
nadnuk: canadajane: thank you!!! i’ll start drafting an email.
Post # 7
First off, are they expecting you to take short term disability? If so, you will want to look into the laws of what they can and cannot make you do. For instance, in many areas where we have operations, forcing a salaried and exempt employee to phone in and “keep in touch” could be akin to forcing them to return to work early based upon interpretations of various laws.
As such, we take all computers, blackberrys, etc. away to prevent potential liability.
People simply transition stuff as well as they can before they leave, and if something happens on their leave it will be chalked up as “shit happens” and worked around.
Also know, if you live in the US, it is illegal for your boss to discriminate against you for taking leave. That includes getting pissy enough that it becomes a hostile work environment and withholding future opportunities. Your boss should know this and should be careful to keep and emotions in check as this is entirely beyond your control.
A straight-forward note should be all it takes. If anything appears to go haywire after that I would go to HR since you would have a legitimate complaint. Anyone managing people should be aware of what is and is not allowed and keep theirs and everyone else’s feelings in check.
Post # 8
Consultette: Thank you for your reply! I sent a big email and now feel like i’ve done my bit…
It’s not so much what the boss says but doesn’t say that bothers me, if this makes any sense? Unfortunately we don’t have HR…and this would be useful.
I don’t have a blackberry or laptop, just email…i imagine it’s good and ok for me to check it once a day…but perhaps you feel differently? does it put the employee at risk?
I appreciate your reply and will reread it when i feel guilty.
Post # 9
FrenchNewlyWed: the email sounds good, you did your part and your work should understand.
The checking e-mail once a day and whether it is ok is ultimately between you, your employer, your doctor and your local laws. If all is alright by all of those, that should be more than what is expected. Every company I’ve ever been with has never expected anything from people on leave.
Recently I had a gal go on leave who was concerned about leaving her work partially done and wanted to stay a week or two to wrap it up – I told her no, that is ridiculous and she needs to take care of everything she needs to take care of since work can always wait (and what can’t can always be re-assigned). You may find that you are concerned about this more than your manager is – any good manager is well-aware of the fact that employees are most productive when they are also taking good care of themselves.