Post # 1
I’m ahead of myself but SO and I have agreed on an engagement in the next few months with a wedding in 2017 sometime. Neither of us want a big wedding or a year long engagement. So I’d guess by Summer 2018 we’d be ready to TTC, which would make us both 35.
I’ve been at job for 9 months, small startup location with about 10 employees in the state. Which means they are not held to FMLA and b/c the industry is male dominated, there is no company maternity leave policy. HR has said in the event of an medical issue, our health insurance has a Short Term Disability option which can be approved by managers in 30 day increments. I’m not at ALL familiar with what happens under Short Term Disability. Under Short Term Disability, do they give you a portion of your pay or did I make that up? Does that mean that my manager could terminate me without cause if I decided I wanted 3 month leave?
I don’t *love* this job, but the perks are that I’m not micromanaged, I have flexibility since my manager is in a different location so no one cares when I come and go, the commute is good, and I’m apparently doing very well here. Manager told me that execs have taken notice, he’s asked what I want to do next, other colleagues have said they see me being promoted so I have some leverage. However, the company as a whole is disorganized which makes things really difficult, my manager is a “weak” and “obedient” type, other coworkers are not nearly as professional and I’ve recently witnessed some corporate politics that I didn’t really expect in a company this small.
I have no plans to become a SAHM so there’s a part of me that feels like stay here, deal with the lack of income for 2-3 months and when I come back at least I know I have flexibility. My best friend suggests that I leave this job at the start of 2018 and go somewhere with a maternity leave policy. But that would really only put me at a year and a half at this job…..my last job I was at for just over 4 years…job before that I was at for about 18 months as well. My resume will sort of erratic. I do see her point b/c a company that doesn’t have any maternity policy is probably not as receptive to employees leaving early or working from home b/c of children.
Has anyone dealt with a company like this, and what was your experience? How did you handle pregnancy? Thoughts?
Post # 2
The company seems very all over the place & I am assuming you are in the US?
In Canada you get you’re Mat leave regardless of you’re job. Honestly I’d have to agree with you’re friend. Go to a place that offers you Mat leave. Regardless of how it’s going to look on you’re resume.
Post # 3
bluegreyeyes : At my work, we pay into short and long term disability. And ours pays either 40 or 60% of our salary (I just can’t remember which). It also goes for 12 weeks. The first week you get nothing so you have to use your vacation. I know some people’s STD will pay way more.
Post # 4
Could you use vacation time for maternity leave? That’s what my SIL’s company allowed so she’s saving her vacation time/sick days until then. Other than that I’m not much help because I’ve only worked at large institutions.
Post # 5
You can use STD (6 weeks) for pregnancy, but that doesn’t mean they can’t fire you before/during/after that time.
Post # 6
bluegreyeyes : I changed jobs 8 months into TTC and assumed I wouldn’t get leave at the new job (turns out it took me 2 years to conceive so I qualify, but that obviously wasn’t the plan). My solution was to squirrel lots of money away so that I’d be able to basically self-insure for unpaid leave or a potential job loss. My husband’s income can almost cover all of our expenses so our savings would cover over 3 years of the shortage we’d have each month.
Post # 7
Since you have an actual HR department, I would ask your HR contact these questions.
-What does STD mean in terms of paid leave, unpaid, and job retention?
-Would I be able to stack my vacation days in order to be used as (or in supplement to) available mat leave?
-If no paid leave is available and vacation days run out, would I be able to take competely unpaid leave and still keep my position?
-Any other questions you have
I would think that since your hours are flexible right now, it wouldn’t be any different once baby is here as far as leaving to pick up from daycare/etc. Coworkers wouldn’t need to know the reason for every single time you leave; just post your office hours and communicate and I wouldn’t think that would be an issue if it’s not one now. The bigger questions for me would be how they’d handle your actual maternity situation, and whether or not you feel this is a good long term investment of your time. It would be harder–in my opinion–to leave after you have a baby and now need a company to give you family benefits, the flexibility to work around baby’s daycare and doctor schedule, etc. all as a brand new employee.
If it’s not somewhere you can see yourself really thriving in all aspects (work AND personal life–as far as benefits, time to enjoy your family, etc) then I’d go ahead and find another job now while you still have this one, and before you get pregnant. If an interviewer were to ask why you’re leaving this job after 18 months you can be honest and say that the job and the people you work(ed) with are great but the company structure wasn’t one where you could see yourself growing. They will respect that and you get a new job with maternity bennies! 🙂
Post # 8
Personally, I would stay where you are. I’d start a “maternity leave savings account” that you could put some money into each month, to help carry you through the weeks you’d take off after having a baby. Most people I know take 6 weeks, or a little more if they want to use up saved vacation time. Here’s the thing, making plans or worrying about the “what-ifs” this far out will only cause you more stress. You guys aren’t engaged yet, and even if everything sticks to your timeline and get pregnant in the summer of 2018 you’re looking at spring of 2019 to actually have a baby. By that time your company might have something in place for maternity leave OR develope something once you tell them you’re pregnant.
I actually disagree with your friend regarding the company being baby friendly. The reason I’d stay is that I think your current job offers you the kind of flexibility that would be a huge benefit in the long run having a child. The fact that you basically come and go as you please without anyone to micromanage you is a HUGE plus. Honestly the biggest struggle my 9-5 friends have is childcare and when their kids are sick or have appointments. If they don’t question when you come and go now, there’s no reason they would start just because you have a kid.
Post # 9
I would try to get something in writing from your company. Reason being that most companies, even if they offer maternity leave, require that you work for at least a year to qualify for it (so depending on when you start the job and when you get pregnant it could be hard to get even so). It sounds like you like your job for the most part, and flexibility is huge once you have a baby. That said, if you can find a job with leave that’d be even better. Then just make sure you’ve been there long enough to qualify for it 🙂 Good luck!
Post # 10
Save a ton of money while you’re there. I’m assuming you took the job because it pays more or is a step up from the past job? While doing the saving, I would look for a job with leave. That or if you’re planning on leaving anyway, see if there’s a way for you to get the info without having to reveal that you’re TTC?
FWIW, this is why we need a federal mandate for minimum coverage when we’re out on leave. I’ll stop my rant here though.
I’m at a pretty large workplace and there’s men and women working on big hugeprojects with huge sums of money at stake and I’ve seen plenty of women take their full unpaid leave and come back to kick ass at work. We have a breastfeeding room and everything. This does not detract from our business at all, in fact I think it helps it. It’s not perfect and I do know some people that it hasn’t worked for but I feel that it’s the bare minimum what we have here.
It’s hard work and I think you should be able to have a baby and come back to work no problem, it’s for that reason I think your best bet is to find a company with those benefits. Do they offer health insurance?
Post # 11
I totally missed the part that you have a flexible schedule. That’s a huge deal! I agree with the bee that said to get the leave policy in writing or the ok for you in writing as well.
Post # 12
I don’t know a ton about US mat leave, but don’t most companies require you to work there a certain amount of time to qualify for mat leave? So shouldn’t you be leaving sooner?
Post # 13
It probably looks better to stay somewhere for 2 years instead of 1, so stay for another year since you have no plan to start TTC just yet. Once you’re 3-6 months out from starting to TTC, then look for a job covered by FMLA.
Since it’s hard to convey tone: I don’t mean this like “I think this is the best idea!” but rather “what about this option, wouldn’t this make sense?”
Post # 14
bluegreyeyes : I purchased a STD policy several years ago through a previous job. I kept it even though my current job has maternity leave (8 weeks with full pay).
My policy pays 60% of salary for 8 weeks (but first week is some sort of waiting period where you get nothing and from what I’ve seen that’s pretty standard for such a policy). More than 8 weeks will need explanation of medical necessity from doctor and proof of disabled dates from employer. If just the standard 8 weeks then they just need the doctor’s office to fill out standard form showing date of delivery, whether live birth, and whatnot.
Because it does have the one-week exclusionary period before the plan starts paying, I also bought a “Hospital Bridge” policy to supplement. It’s pretty cheap the premium’s only like $15 a month and it pays a set amount (my policy is $1,000) for every hospitalization, including hospitalization for giving birth. I actually completely forgot that this policy applied to giving birth as well, so that was a nice surprise when the insurance company paid out on it together with the STD benefits when I submitted my claim.
Post # 15
STD would be maternity leave essentially. Although my STD sucked and maxed out at $500/week which was pretty much worthless. This pregnancy I don’t even quality for STD so I’ll just be taking unpaid leave.