Post # 1
DH & I got married last month & decided to seriously consider trying to get pregnant after our one year anniversary. We’ve been together for 8 years & he is 41 so we’re both feeling the itch. I’m the type of person that needs to plan out everything, and am having some trouble figuring out what benefits I would be entitled to in my workplace. I do not particularly enjoy working at my law firm (legal assistant) but if the benefits are similar to a larger company I would stay here rather than try for another position elsewhere. We have time for me to apply elsewhere but without knowing how the pregnancy benefits work here I’m not sure I want to make the plunge as it would set our timeline back a little.
Current Job: Legal Asst. at a law firm employing less than 15 people in California. Very flexible with tons of sick time & vacation. Would be a good job once we have kids but it’s seriously mind-numbing now. We have no HR dept., only our bookeeper who knows nothing about pregnancy leave/disability. I’m fairly positive we have no maternity/pregnancy policies as the last ppl pregnant here are now in their 70’s….
So I have found out I am not eligible for FMLA since my employer doesn’t have 50+ employees. So that leaves CA Disability (I’m assuming – my paycheck says CA SDI)- which has been taken out of my paycheck for 5 years now… Is that it (only 6 weeks partially paid time)? It doesn’t look like CA offers job protection which is what I’m most concerned about bc my boss is an asshole & while he likes me he may well try to replace me if he feels like I won’t be as dedicated/focused post-baby. Can anyone break it down for me so I can get a better idea whether I should stay here or go ahead & look elsewhere (most likely the university or county/government).
Post # 3
I just skimmed through them, but I don’t see the 50 employees stipulation in either of these documents. It looks as though you get 4 months of disability and guaranteed job protection.
There’s different legislation that can be combined for your maternity leave. Here’s a link to an organization that helps families in California maximize their benifits:
ETA: I didn’t realize that the above buisiness charges people to take classes. Here is another link about paid family leave:http://www.paidfamilyleave.org/faqs/
Post # 4
- Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL
@BeckyS0: Government usually has less pay but better benefits. Plus, then you’re more likely to get FMLA.
Post # 5
@BeckyS0: Does your firm have an employee handbook or benefits summary? I work for a small firm (~10 people) and our maternity policy is laid out in the employee handbook. It’s significantly better than FMLA so I would check there first and see if there is a policy in place.
ETA: In the firms 16 year history no one has taken leave (mostly guys and older women) but the policy was out in place at inception.
Post # 6
I’m not in HR and I work for a large company in California, so I don’t want to quote my HR department since the benefits are definitely different. However, here are some links with information that does pertain to you as an employee in a place with less than 50 employees.
Post # 7
@sailgrl18: no handbook/benefits summary whatsoever… It’s horrible here, I wasn’t even trained when I started they just stuck me in an office & said to call so & so if I need any help.
Thanks for the links everyone- I’m on my way to check them out!
@beachbride1216: Very true- I’m just not sure if it’s worth it for FMLA without seeing how my current benefits stack up. I’ve got lots of vacation time and paid sick leave here so I would hate to leave all that, start over with nothing, for the same or close to the same maternity benefits. And, less pay is not an option- if I’m leaving my current job it has to be for more pay.
Post # 8
@BeckyS0: Does your job offer short term disability? I pay around $30 a month in premiums and when I go on maternity leave I’ll still be getting a paycheck! As for them being able to replace while you’re out, I’m not 100% sure but I don’t think they can.
Post # 9
@BeckyS0: I work in a small company too. And we are in the beginning stages of formalizing our HR policies. I was able to create my own Mat Leave policy (I created 3 options and we negotiated). I would see if they would offer you any benefits above and beyond FMLA.
Post # 10
@MrsTillerResq: Is that different than CA SDI? I pay a little every month for that, and we have an AFLAC rep and can purchase policies through them as well.
Post # 11
I’ve just done some research and called the state and I too, work at a small company in California. You are entitled to 4 weeks off before birth (given if you and your doctor want/need this), 6 weeks after birth for a vaginal delivery or 8 weeks for a c-section. That time off is paid through California SDI. Once you receive your last SDI check, you will get a form for PFL (Paid Family Leave), this allows you an ADDITIONAL 6 weeks if you prefer. It will still only be 55% of your wage like SDI, the only difference is that it’s through EDD. The catch with PFL is that there’s no job protection. However, if you talk to your employer and tell them that this is what you’d like and they approve it, you can ask for a guaruntee to have your job back in writing so that they can’t pull any funny business.
Post # 12
@RedBullFueled: the ridiculous part of all this is that the law firm is the oldest in the county & has been running for over 70 years. But my boss is the managing partner & he is not managerial material whatsoever & sees no for dedicated HR or policies or anything of the sort. Makes up policies, doesn’t tell anyone, then gets angry at us for doing something we apparently should have known…. This is why I’m a little worried about bringing it up to anyone here…
Post # 13
BeckyS0: I can’t tell you how similiar our situations sound! Just know that you have rights.
Post # 14
@BeckyS0: I’m not sure what CA offers.. I live in SC and pay premiums to an Aflac short term disability policy.
Post # 15
- Wedding: November 2011 - Florida Aquarium
I have a similar situation, kind of. My firm (lobby, not law) only has ten employees so we don’t qualify for FMLA. We also don’t have a short term disability plan. So, when I got pregnant (unexpectedly), I was terrified.
There has been one other pregnant person in the past ten years here. The firm gave her 6 weeks paid off (one of the partners covered her salary with his for the 6 weeks). I convinced they’d never do this for me. I was wrong. I went to my boss at 14 weeks and told her and then asked if I could have 6 weeks paid and 6 weeks unpaid– using any vacation time I had as well. She said that was perfectly fair.
I should note that while my boss is a woman, she’s super old school with no kids of her own.
Because I’ve worked here for three years, I thought she may work with me, and I was right. So you may be surprised, even if the law doesn’t require it, what your firm will allow.
Post # 16
@BeckyS0: Have you asked your employer directly if they follow FMLA? My employer has under 50 employees but does still honor FMLA. If they don’t, I guess your only other option is PTO and STD. If you want to stay at your current job, I’d advise a sit down early on when you get pregnant about job security. Go in with a plan to reassure them that you want to and will be returning to work. Maybe shorten the time you’d want to take off from 12 weeks to something a bit less (or starting back part time after 6 weeks) so he would be less inclined to want to fill the position with someone else.
THe nice thing with a smaller company is there is more flexibility. Especially if there are very few people of child bearing age. It makes it easier to be flexible without having to necessarily provide the same benefits to tons of other people which could make it cost prohibitive.