Post # 1
So I’m in a bit of a situation…Darling Husband and I live in a small town about an hour away from where we’d like to be living. We both got good jobs here after graduating in 2010, and always knew it would be a pit-stop, not a destination, and we planned on moving back to the bigger city we’d like to live in within 5-10 years. We are currently expecting a child with an EDD of May 2. I work at a university, in a live-in position for the housing department. I’m a hall director, so we live in an apartment in a dorm. I am currently going back to school and will graduate in May, and it’s time for me to move on. Darling Husband was just offered (and is planning on accepting today) a job where he will be a regional salesperson and can live anywhere in the eastern half of our state, so for him it doesn’t matter when we move because in either location, we’ll live in his territory.
Because of the nature of my job, it would really be helpful for them to hire someone to replace me in the summer – really, no later than Aug. 1. Hiring at semester break (Dec) would be OK, but not preferable. Quitting at any time during a semester would really be leaving them in a lurch. I really like and respect the people I work for, and would like to make the transition as easy for them as possible. I plan to take at least 8 weeks maternity leave, because that is what I have saved in sick time, but I might do up to 12, I haven’t decided yet. So I guess my question is – is there a certain amount of time I need to come back to work after leave before I quit? Or can I use my 8 weeks sick time during my maternity leave, and put in a two-week’s notice after 6 weeks of it? That would mean me putting a notice in around mid-June, which should leave them enough time to have a replacement hired to start by Aug. 1. I’m wondering if it’s legal/ethical to use my sick time if I’m not planning on coming back after? Do I just have to come back for one day after leave to make that legal? I really don’t want to give up my sick leave pay, so if it means waiting to quit til December, I’d do that instead.
I’m also not too worried about finding a job in the city we’re moving too, so that’s not an issue. We live in an area with very low unemployment, and I have been checking out available jobs every couple weeks, and there’s always tons that I would qualify for (after I graduate in May) every time I look. And Darling Husband and I are in a financial situation where we’d be perfectly fine if I didn’t find a job there for a few months. What’s kind of funny is my new degree will be in HR, haha. Guess I’ll need to learn this stuff. 🙂
Post # 2
I dont think you have to work any amount of time before quitting. FMLA specifies that your job is safe for you to return to, not that you have to go back. I get 12 weeks leave per FMLA. I get short term disability pay at 60% for 4 of those weeks and I get 2 weeks at 100% pay but that is becuase I put in 2 weeks vacation. Should I put in those vacation days without accrueing them, i will owe that back should I not return.
I feel that this is an ethical decision more than a legal one.
Post # 3
Kayla0416: OP, this is probably something you should discuss with your HR department, even though its an awkward situation. Also, does your organization pay out sick leave? If so, you may not need to take maternity leave if that is the only income you would receive (paid sick days rather than maternity pay) and you could avoid the whole situation.
My work just started a new maternity leave policy that will pay up to 60% salary (caps out at $2,000 a month though) for 13 weeks. FMLA allows 12 weeks off, so I plan on taking 6-8 weeks off when we have a child. I could take more, but given my job and responsibilities, I don’t know if I will want to be out that long, but we will see. I don’t plan on leaving my organization after having a baby (at least right now) and I am locked in a 5 year contract. So I am not sure how that is impacted.
Post # 4
FMLA holds your job for 12 weeks but does not guarentee pay. maternity leave pay is different for every company.
i’ve heard plenty of stories where people give their notice while on maternity leave. my mom was moved to a different office to cover for a girl on maternity leave. she is actually hoping the girl puts in notice and doesn’t come back since the other office is closer to her house.
Post # 5
You do not have to go back if your sick time is already accrued & available for you to use. I’m currently on mat leave…I get 8 weeks paid plus any vacation/sick time I have. I’m not planning on going back. I’ve been with the company almost 8 years & it’s fairly common for women to use their mat leave & not come back.
Post # 6
Thanks ladies! Sounds like I was nervous for nothing!
Yes, my sick leave is already accrued. I think I’ll plan on taking my sick leave and vacation (which should be 9-10 weeks) and put in notice towards the end of it! I think I’ll talk to HR and/or my boss to let them know my plan so they can plan ahead. Just wanted to make sure that was legal.
Post # 7
Kayla0416: I’m quite confident that what you are proposting is legal. However, do you feel that if you give them extra notice, that they’ll take negative action (such as dismissing you?).
It would be better for your employer and for you if you just told them that you plan to take your sick time durring your FMLA LOA and that you don’t plan on returnign to work afterwards. That way they get lots of time to find a replacement (and maybe even have you train that replacement before you go) and you get to feel good about your exit. Many employers are very reasonable and will work with you on this. I would imagine that a univesity is not pinching pennies so that they’ll try to screw you out of using your accured sick time?
If you feel that it’s too much of a risk, then go for it with your plan of giving notice after your sick time is used up and you are still on FMLA leave.
Post # 8
Do you get your health benefits from your employer? If so, I would definitely suggest checking on this before you make any final decisions. Every employer is different with how they handle FMLA leave- if your health care is through them, and you plan to continue coverage during your leave- you could be obligated to pay back their portion of your insurance premiums if you quite while you are on leave.
Post # 9
- Wedding: March 2015 - On a Cliff Overlooking the Bay, Florida
Kayla0416: I would check with your employer, as the PP stated you may have to pay back if they cover your medical expenses because you used them for the benefit then left during leave. Also a girl at my work did this and was marked not elegible for rehire and tried to come back a year later. I would just ask general questions about the leave if you give them a heads up hey i’m going on maternity leave but i don’t plan on coming back they may tell you to put in your notice now witout the notice.
Post # 10
In my company, once you put in your notice, they will not allow you to use any sick time. You will have to findd out about your company’s specific policies. FMLA guarantees your job will be held for you after 12 weeks, but that’s all there is to it. It doesn’t say you HAVE to come back after you take the leave.
Post # 11
Kayla0416: DO NOT say anything to your boss. No matter how nice you don’t want them thinking about replacing you this far out. Ask HR but that’s it.
Post # 12
8 weeks annual leave or sick leave? If it’s annual leave than whether you quit before kf after makes no difference as annual leave gets paid out. 8 weeks sick leave is a long time (we only get 8 days a year and it doesn’t accrue if you don’t use it). I agree with others, it’s an ethical decision for you… Sick leave is meant to be a benefit for when you are sick.. You don’t get paid out because if you aren’t sick, than you are considered lucky rather than ‘ohh you deserve this time’. Do what you are comfortable with.
Post # 13
mazzoffee: it’s sick leave. Where I work, we accrue annual leave and sick leave separately (I work at a university – so government benefits). Sick leave we can accrue as much as we want and we never lose it. I’ve been working here for 4.5 years and rarely take sick days.
I’ve decided I’ll wait a few months since I’m only 6 weeks along, then talk to HR about it. I know the HR lady and trust her.
Post # 14
Deleted my comment because it was incorrect… I was thinking of PTO, not sick leave.