(Closed) Laid-off after returning from maternity leave

posted 3 years ago in Career
Post # 2
Member
890 posts
Busy bee

Oh Bee, I’m so sorry. I hate that this happened to you and know that you wil land at a better company. Totally gross what they did.  Sadly, there are not currently any laws that protect an employee while or after Mat leave but there should be. You should not be embarrassed by this, they should. Just be open and honest, and non-emotional about it (very difficult, I know) for your upcoming interview. If anything, it will demonstrate your professionalism. Sending you good thoughts and best wishes, someday you will look on this and realize that although difficult, you are better off without that previous company. 

Post # 3
Member
47286 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

View original reply
loden :  So sorry this happened to you. It shows that we still have a long ways to go to attain fairness in the workplace.

If they truly are outsourcing the accounting, then their actions may be valid, but their timing still sucks.

As far as being embarrassed, you have nothing to be embarrassed about. Practice in front of a mirror saying ” My former employer decided to outsource the accounting and my position was eliminated.”

Good luck on your interview.

Post # 4
Member
298 posts
Helper bee

Sorry that this happened Bee. It’s a shame that you did what they wanted (returning after just 4 weeks leave which is incredible and you should be period of yourself for doing that) for this to happen in the end. I am a firm believer in things happen for a reason and everything works out how it is supposed to and I think this gives you good opportunity to spend more time with LO and look for a job that’s a better fit. As far as the interview goes be open and honest and explain the situation. I think any future employer will appreciate your loyalty and dedication this company for the past few years and realize the sacrifice you made by taking such a short maternity leave. Good luck on Wednesday keep your chin up and think positively!!!

Post # 5
Member
13886 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

I don’t think it looks that bad for you.  In your interview, when they ask why you left your last job, you can honestly say your position was eliminated during a restructuring.  That’s what you were told, so that’s the truth. 

Best of luck!

Post # 6
Member
2441 posts
Buzzing bee

You belong somewhere wonderful, and this small business was not. I doubt that any interview that was worth your time would be put off by a “restructuring” at a site much smaller than they.

Have your credentials and references in super spiffy shape and present yourself with pride.

 

Post # 7
Member
1936 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

This is one of the reasons I actually won’t rely on having my job when I come back from future mat leave. I’m going to make sure all of my ducks are in a row… Even if I have to invent a letter to HR about “feeling” like I’m going to be repalced as a result of my pregnancy. Getting that shit in writing before mat leave might be enough to scare employers straight. I did that at my current job (which is under contract) and I honestly think it’s what saved me. If I didn’t have all of this paperwork documented about “potential” issues I’d doubt I’d be as cushioned as I am. I don’t trust anyone, lol.

I don’t think this will sway any future employers, TBH. You might actually get the pity vote, depending on whom interviews you, as long as you can prove reliable with childcare and such. Any of the employers that are hesitant because of it you striaght up don’t want to work for. I think this was a blessing in disguise for you. It’s come at a very early time on your return so you didn’t get established and comfortable back in the working world. I imagine if they kept you longer you’d be filled with anxiety every day wondering if they were up to something.

Good luck, bee!

Post # 8
Member
2680 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

I’m sorry. Being laid off is never fun, especially when it happens suddenly and comes as a shock.

The silver lining is that since you were laid off through no fault of your own, you will be eligible for unemployment. I know unemployment will be less than your usual salary, but it sounds like you had to go back to work sooner than you would have liked. Even if you have interviews lined up and are aggressively searching, you’ll probably have a few additional weeks (at least) at home with your baby before starting a new job. 

Your previous employer doesn’t sounds pretty awful, so I hope you find a much better place to work! With regards to the interview…I wouldn’t mention anything about recently returning from maternity leave. If they ask why you are looking for a new position, you could say something to the effect of “recently my employer has been cutting costs by outsourcing certain functions. I noticed the pattern and started looking because I became concerned about the security of my position. Unfortunately, it looks like I was right to be concerned because I was recently notified that my department is being eliminated.” Or if you want to be more succinct you could just say “My current employer is downsizing.” Don’t go negative on your current employer or get into any of the sordid details of how poorly they treated you. As long as you keep it positive and professional, most interviewers will be satisfied with an explanation of downsizing.  

Being laid off is nothing to be ashamed of, and there’s a good chance your interviewer may have been laid off at one point or another. I just came out the other side of a situation where my employer had to eliminate my entire business unit. I was very fortunate that they gave us a lot of advanced notice, but it was still nervewracking.  I’m in a profession where there CAN sometimes be a bit of a stigma about periods of unemployment AND I had only been with my current employer for 1 year (which can also be a red flag for job jumpin.) Initially I was very concerned that “why are you leaving your current job when you’ve only been there a year?” would be the elephant in the room on every interview. But, I succinctly & confidently explained the circumstances and it was never an issue. In fact a lot of interviewers empathized and shared that they had been through similar experiences. 

My best advice for your interview is to OVER PREPARE. Now is not the time for wallowing or self pity. Devote the next 2 days to learning everything you can about the company you are interviewing with. If they are a larger company you may even be able to find sample interview questions on Glassdoor. Check them out on LinkedIn. If you know anyone who works there, reach out and network a bit. Go over your resume and take notes on any specific accomplishments you want to highlight. Hold your head up high and remember that this company will be lucky to have you! YOU’VE GOT THIS! 

Post # 9
Member
1006 posts
Bumble bee

I understand you’re shocked and concerned, but I don’t think it will look bad and you shoul not feel bad about it.  Explain that your company underwent some restructuring and outsourced your function.  This actually happened to a number of women I worked with at my last firm when we went through restrucuring and they all landed pretty quickly. 

Post # 10
Member
3875 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

View original reply
loden :  Don’t be embarrassed! I was laid off last year. My manager quit and the new guy who came in was looking to slash the comapny down to the bare bones. I was the last one hired, so I had a pretty good idea I was going to be the one to be laid off. Still stung when I was actually let go, but Darling Husband and I had just talked about it over the weekend and were confident we’d be okay if that were the case. What’s worse is that the Friday before, my new manager had made me move our (albeit small) office by myself, offered no assistance, and then made me train him on all of our software before letting me go. I thanked him for wasting my time and left. My new employer asked about my previous job, but they didn’t even really care or mention the fact that I had been laid off. The first person who interviewed me thought I still worked for my last employer. As long as it is not a string of unemployment, I wouldn’t worry about it. 

Post # 11
Member
5364 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2016

So sorry this happened to you! I definitely don’t think that it looks bad on YOU! I think you’ve received great advice so far. I wanted to encourage you, I was asked to resign from my small company job (also my first job out of college) the day we came back from our wedding. Obviously I don’t have a newborn and it’s a little different, but it turned out to be a blessing in disguise. A couple of months later I found a job I love and have happily been there the past 9 months and my life is so much better because of it!! Good luck!

Post # 12
Member
4243 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

View original reply
loden :  This reflects badly on the company, not on you.  My husband has been laid off twice now and is currently between jobs.  We feel like we can’t catch a break so I feel you.  🙁

Post # 13
Member
412 posts
Helper bee

Very sorry you unexpectedly lost your position, however you said yourself that you had already begun sending out feelers for a new position last week and had already lined up an interview this week. I don’t think you can be too upset that your previous employer didn’t have loyalty to you and eliminated your position when you planned to leave them yourself as soon as you were offered something better.

In fact your applying for new positions could partly be the catalyst here. Perhaps one of the companies you applied to reached out to your previous employer for a reference and tipped them off that you were jumping ship. Depending on how small of a company they are, your maternity leave may have really put them in a bind, especially if they had to hire temp help to cover your duties. They might have felt that they already held your position for a month at a detriment to them financially and you showed them your appreciation by immediately looking for a “better” company that would have offered you more.

I am certainly not blaming you for your pregnancy, your maternity leave, nor your wanting to look for a new company that offers more of the benefits that you and your family would appreciate. But as someone who works for a fairly small company (approx 25 employees) I can see how the company can be under a strain by your need for extended personal leave.

Regarding what you should say at your new interview, offer them the truth. Your previous position was outsourced. There is no shame in that. Best of luck with your new baby and finding a new position. 

Post # 14
Member
2124 posts
Buzzing bee

Ugh bee, crappy timing for sure! My fiancé has been laid off, and so have I – both small companies. I don’t want to work for another small/family company, because I have been dicked around and ripped off too many times. There are great benefits, but when shit hits the fan they don’t seem to protect employees. Keep your chin up, stay positive, and know that this isn’t your fault. You got this! 

 

View original reply
sable :  Honestly this is so unfair. The company knew she was going on maternity leave and perhaps should have organised a temp, or made other arrangements. OP went back to work earlier than she wanted to for the company, who responded with “off you go”. People leave companies all the time, that’s not a reason to let go of them. And had this been the case why did her bosses not reach out and find out what was going on? 

People get sick, get pregnant, suffer losses, but should never be punished for that. I have been in small teams twice (one under 10 staff, one had 3 full time and 1 part time) and have been made to feel guilty when I have had to be away from work due to illness, or a death in the family. Had these companies been prepared none of that would be an issue! 

Post # 15
Member
561 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2016

I have had to go into an interview and say I was laid off due to restructuring (which is true) and I was lucky enough that I had 3 glowing references from the place I was laid off from which I let them know during the interview (as more proof it wasn’t performance related), if you think they would be a good reference for you make sure you contact and ask if they will do that for you.

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