Post # 1
I am getting closer to ttc and am curious about your employer experiences with maternity leave. I work for a small business of about 100 people, There is no one above my level job except my bosses(the owners). I gain 1 day of vacation every year, currently at 12 days a year, they do not roll over. I am on salary. They do not offer maternity leave.I am very needed to my employers and i do feel confident in approaching a possible negotiation conversation with them.
Current options for maternity time:
6 week disability
up to 14 weeks unpaid FMLA
I plan to add on Aflac of my pregnancy years to help cover costs, but still looking into it (employee offers)
So, I would love to hear your stories on your experience maternity leave negotiation! Did you get them to “roll over” your sick days or vacation days for maternity leave? Did you come back part time after 6 week disability at a cut wage? what are other things that i am not even thinking of to negotiate?
thank you in advance!
Post # 2
Sadly, no negotiation here. I haven’t taken mat leave yet (just got PG) but I looked into this when I started at my current company. The company does not offer mat leave and does not offer short term disability. You can take up to 12 weeks off under FMLA. During that time, you use any accrued sick and vacation time you have to be paid. When that runs out, it’s unpaid leave.
We can roll over sick and vacation time, but I’ll only have worked there for a year when I deliver so won’t have accrued a whole lot. If I take zero vacation or sick time this year, I’ll have 3 weeks of vaca and 3 weeks of sick time to use… so 6 weeks paid, and then 6 weeks unpaid. It’s pretty crappy, but I know this is a better situation than some!
My friend works for a European company and has awesome maternity benefits:
– 2 weeks off before due date
– 16 week fully paid maternity leave
– The 16 weeks doesn’t start until you deliver, so if the baby is late, you get extra time (since you were already off for the 2 weeks before your due date)
– option to come back part-time for the first several months
Yeah, jealous doesn’t begin to cover how I feel about that!
Post # 3
Miss-Joker: Can you not get a short-term disability policy through a private company? My job doesn’t offer disability, but I have a policy through AFLAC that will cover me for 6 weeks. THEN, I’ll take my 12 weeks FMLA. We’re talking about DH then taking 12 weeks FMLA as well, so baby wouldn’t go into day care until about 6 months. We can both use accrued sick time during that as well.
Post # 4
Miss-Joker: I am not pregnant yet, but have already sort of negotatied my leave (my boss had 6 of us getting married in one year, I am her only direct report and the only one she believed wasn’t actively trying at the time. She wanted to know what to ask for).
My organization’s policy is up to 60 work days/480 hours of leave. That works out to a little over 12 weeks, depending on holidays. I can take the first 6 weeks/30 days as sick leave and then the next 6 weeks as leave without pay or annual leave.
What my negotiation is that I will come back around 8 weeks and do 2 days working (one in the office and one at home) for the next 7 weeks. Depending on when we have a kid (my goal is September, but it may be later), I can consider coming back part time even earlier to help with our busy period (November), but I will take full FMLA.
Things that you want to think about: working from home, coming back part time, insurance issues (my company drops their benefits if you are out more than 12 weeks), and hours with a kid.
Post # 5
melisandescott: i am looking into aflac, my employer offers it. so you have the short term disability insurance through that and then can take your FMLA? You can still qualify for fmla after aflac disability? I like the idea of pushing off his fmla to cover to 6 months.
SaltedCaramel: oh your friend’s maternity leave sounds amazing! There is a state Paid FMLA currently under review in Albany NY, i wish it would get some more traction… Using vacation time to help cover maternity leave seems like a mandatory option. Anyone who has been pregnant at my job (1 employee and the boss) has gone part time towards her due date, being on salary i am not sure if that would work either, though i would hope to work up until due date. ahhh going into ttc financially responsible is exhausting (but will be worth it!)
Post # 6
Miss-Joker: You can totally go part time on salary. I am considered salary and they just pro-rate my pay. If I work Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, I get 60% of my pay.
Post # 7
OMG, paid leave would be amazing. I would love to try to negotiate to come back part time at first, but to be honest I don’t know if we could afford it– since I’ll have just taken the last 6-8 weeks unapid. I will probably need to make my full paycheck again. I am planning to take 12 weeks and we are going to just save for it, but it’s so annoying.
It’s great that your employer offers STD though! Mine does not, and I tried a million companies to buy it privately, but it’s not offered except through employers (at least in MA).
Post # 8
I’ve never heard of negotiating for maternity leave. My company does 8-12 weeks of short term disability with 66% of your salary, then you have the option of FMLA.
Vacation days can be used at your discretion, but mine roll over regardless, so it’s a different situation.
Post # 9
Miss-Joker: if you are in the States you are only entitled to 12 weeks Through flma. short term disability policies only pay you for part of the leave they don’t give you more leave. For instance if you take no other vacation days that year you may get 6 weeks covered at some portion of your salary through short term disability, you could then take the 12 days of vacation pay then the rest of the 12 weeks unpaid. 12 weeks total, not 18. I have never heard of a negotiation for maternity leave, typically a company has a set company wide policy (otherwise someone could claim unfair treatment) unless perhaps you were a contract employee.
Post # 10
Glad i didnt have to worry about negotiating! i worked for some family friends they told me to come back whenever i felt ready. needless to say i was back to work after 3 weeks!
Post # 11
As I understand it FMLA only covers you for 12 weeks total. You can’t take short term disability for 6 weeks and then start 12 weeks of FMLA (unless you employer is okay with it). They run concurrently.
So for 6 weeks you’d be getting paid for the disability, and after that you’d have 6 weeks unpaid.
My work requires you to use a certain amount of your PTO during maternity leave. You can’t take 12 weeks FMLA and then use 4 weeks of your PTO. Again, they have to run concurrently.
Post # 12
Echoing kl1987, FMLA and disability clocks start at the same time, as far as I know. At least, this is definitely how it works for me – my HR person was very clear that the most I can take is twelve weeks. Also, insurance companies usually only approve six weeks for disability (8 I think for a c-section) regardless of your company’s maxes. I get 90 days of paid disability but I can’t actually use it all bc the insurance co determines how long I’m disabled.
Post # 13
oops, my mistake. luckily, it doesnt affect me too much: i’m a teacher, giving birth during summer, so i can take 12 weeks effective when i go back to school. sorry for the confusion!
Post # 14
First of, thank you everone for your responses so far! Reading all of your responces has had me doing a lot of research. Has anyone’s employer okay’d “Employer voluntary intermittent FMLA”? It is working less hours under the FMLA job security as long as it causes zero hardships to the employer. It isnt required but an employer can volunter it to their employer.
Ive been doing a ton of research and am thinking this would be possible and ideal under my circumstances:
38-40 weeks pregnancy: prefer to work full time under delivery, but possible part time if needed
weeks 1-3: Cash in vacation days
Weeks 1-6: Aflac short term disability at 60% (from what i read this and vacation can overlap, could be wrong)
weeks 6-8: unpaid FMLA–home full time still
weeks 8-14: work part time under employer voluntary intermittent FMLA, ~3 days a week
weeks 14-28 possible DH fmla or paternity
this could actually work! 🙂
Post # 15
I’m currently on maternity leave from a small company and here’s my experience:
– Aflac has been great! I got short term disability coverage and also signed up for a hospital confinement policy since I knew I would be trying for a baby. The main thing I didn’t realize with the STD is that it pays you for 6 weeks MINUS the “elimination period”. I had a 2 week elimination period so I only got paid for 4 weeks. You choose the elimination period when you sign up so just keep that in mind. The hospital confinement paid me $1000 because I spent more than 24 hours in the hospital when I gave birth – and it’s not an expensive monthly payment. Both paid me within a week of submitting the paperwork – which was awesome! I also would recommend submitting your paperwork to your contact person so they can look it over beforehand.
– I’m also salary and going back part time after 8 weeks mostly because it’s our crazy busy season right now and I feel horrible being out for that long ( and it’s hard not having a paycheck). My HR just told me they would calculate what my hourly rate would be and that I have to work 30 hours to keep my benefits.