Maternity Leave with a crappy job question — The Bump
May 2015 Moms

Maternity Leave with a crappy job question

Hello ladies. I know that maternity leave questions have been posted, but I'm stuck in a weird situation and I really would like some advice. 

The company that I work for is pretty shitty. They pay well and they treat their employees well as long as you do your job 110% perfectly and also as long as you put in as much overtime, sacrifice your breaks and lunches, and write good reviews about them online to get more customers to sign up with us. I wish I was joking, but we really had a company meeting where they asked us to take a few moments and write good reviews about the company on Yelp. *eyeroll* 

Anyway, since I don't have a ton of time left before my baby is born I was told to come to the HR department to speak with them about maternity leave. Fair enough...I wanted to let them know that I'll be leaving a month before my due date anyway. The reason for this is my lease is up for my apartment April 30th and I'm due May 14th and of course I'll need to pack and prepare everything and also my family is coming to spend 1 week with me before my due date. I figured this would give me plenty of time to get all of this accomplished and set up the new house so that way we aren't rushing around if the baby comes early for whatever reason. 

Well...I went to HR and he basically told me before I even told him about my date that I wanted to leave or anything that I can't leave early and that I'd need to work until my due date. He said the only way I could get out of work before my due date is if my doctor puts me on bed rest, I go into labor early, or my doctor writes a note stating that I can't work any longer. Fat chance...my doctor isn't going to write a note like that...especially if my pregnancy is still going as smoothly as it is now. HR also told me that they would give me 6 weeks of maternity leave and then I'd need to come back. He said it would be 8 weeks if I have to have a C-Section. He said that hes doing this to be nice because I don't qualify for FMLA leave of 12 months because my 1 year is about 1 week after my due date. 

I wasn't planning on going back to work after my baby is born, but my main problem here is that if I put in my two week notice they will fire me on the spot. They have done that and continue to do that instead of letting people work their two weeks and then that be it. I just don't know what to do here. They won't even talk to me further about maternity leave until the end of March. 
I feel like my only option is to put in my two week notice on the day that I was going to request to leave for maternity leave anyway and just let them fire me. I just know that I'd like to use them as a reference for when I do wish to return to work. 

Anyone have any advice? I'm going to talk to DH about this tonight and see what he thinks, but I'm hoping maybe some of you ladies have some ideas for me too.
Thank you guys so much! <3 
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Re: Maternity Leave with a crappy job question

  • I would wait to put in my two week notice until the day you want to work through if you think you might get fired on the spot.  At least it's somewhat on your terms.  As long as you put a notice in you intend on working through then you should be able to use them as a reference.
    lola2beedec2018momItskisastyle1
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  • I was thinking that too. Talked to DH and he said the same thing!
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  • I agree with PP about giving your two week on the day you plan on going on leave. If you don't plan on going back after you deliver anyways then it shouldn't really matter how much maternity leave they are willing to give you. My work only gives 6 weeks of maternity as well. I'm pretty sure that's the norm for a vaginal birth. Since you don't qualify for FMLA it makes sense that you would need a doctors note to take off before baby is born unless you have any personal leave saved up.
  • shoff2 said:

    I agree with PP about giving your two week on the day you plan on going on leave. If you don't plan on going back after you deliver anyways then it shouldn't really matter how much maternity leave they are willing to give you. My work only gives 6 weeks of maternity as well. I'm pretty sure that's the norm for a vaginal birth. Since you don't qualify for FMLA it makes sense that you would need a doctors note to take off before baby is born unless you have any personal leave saved up.

    Yeah, the only reason it matters is because they are fire happy there and I planned things out to where I know how many checks I get. But Im going to put my leave in on the day I plan to leave. :)
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  • Sounds like you have a good plan- my only worry: What if they don't fire you on the spot? Like, what if for whatever reason they're a little short staffed and plan to keep you on like 1-2 weeks or so and then let you go just because of logistics purposes, yknow? 

    When I quit my job after my daughter was born, they were happy to see me go because I was pumping a lot and missing a lot of days for baby being sick or whatever. But they wanted to find my replacement and do a little restructuring in the department before I could leave, and so they actually asked me to work 4.5 weeks instead of 2. So I did it, obviously, because I want them to be my reference when I do return to the workforce. But I would just be careful with that. I know your company is fire happy, but since you're pregnant- they may not fire you on the spot only to avoid any threat of a lawsuit since they're technically not allowed to fire you for being pregnant (though most states are "at will" and can fire you for no reason at all, so I'm sure that would be their reason). 

    Anyways- good luck! Crappy situation, but I'm excited for you to be staying home after baby comes!! You won't regret it! 
    saric83
  • beaseg said:

    Sounds like you have a good plan- my only worry: What if they don't fire you on the spot? Like, what if for whatever reason they're a little short staffed and plan to keep you on like 1-2 weeks or so and then let you go just because of logistics purposes, yknow? 

    When I quit my job after my daughter was born, they were happy to see me go because I was pumping a lot and missing a lot of days for baby being sick or whatever. But they wanted to find my replacement and do a little restructuring in the department before I could leave, and so they actually asked me to work 4.5 weeks instead of 2. So I did it, obviously, because I want them to be my reference when I do return to the workforce. But I would just be careful with that. I know your company is fire happy, but since you're pregnant- they may not fire you on the spot only to avoid any threat of a lawsuit since they're technically not allowed to fire you for being pregnant (though most states are "at will" and can fire you for no reason at all, so I'm sure that would be their reason). 


    Anyways- good luck! Crappy situation, but I'm excited for you to be staying home after baby comes!! You won't regret it! 
    I thought about that too, lol. I work in an at will state, so I know they technically can find a reason to get rid of me. You brought up a point that I forgot about...they are ALWAYS short staffed in my department so I believe they would keep me for the two weeks. I guess I just need to tell them around April 1st that DH and I decided its best that I stay home with LO, so Im just putting in my two weeks. If they fire me then Ill just deal with it, but like you said...that could be a lawsuit. I wouldnt do that though...too much work lol!
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    beaseg
  • saric83saric83 member
    edited February 2015
    I definitely would put in the notice on April 1st and plan to work those additional two weeks and plan to be without the money just in case they do let you go right away.  If you plan to need them as a reference in the future, it would suck to shoot yourself in the foot by giving them notice too late with the assumption they'll fire you, and then you look like the jerk who lied.

    And not that it really matters to your situation since you're planning to leave anyway, but unfortunately, the paid six and eight-week timeframe is very standard, and there are tons of places that have NO paid maternity leave.  And FWIW, I work at what I consider a great company with nice benefits, and I couldn't just randomly take off for a month without medical reason or some other approved leave-of-absence.  If you have four weeks of vacation time built up, then that's a different story, but otherwise, that's pretty reasonable for them to shoot that down.  
  • Woah there would be all kinds of crazy ramifications if crap like this happened in the UK!!

    Are you sure it's legal? For them to not let you start your leave when you want?!

    Don't even get me started (again) on the ridiculousness that is the 6 week unpaid leave!!

    I'm sorry you're faced with such a decision - I genuinely couldn't advise, what an awkward situation!
    dec2018momsevillanagalSwan22job445
  • I didn't read all the other replies before commenting...so I hope this isn't duplicate. I would recommend getting your letter of recommendation from them prior to putting in any kind of notice and tell them it's for another reason...that's all I can think of. Hope it works out for you...
    dec2018mom
  • Oh one more thing....if you have Afflack OR Metlife....they will cover your pay while you are out for maternity but that is something you will probably need to put in place now because it's a policy you pay for.
  • I would double check to see if they can legally stipulate your maternity leave date. It sucks that you won't be able to utilize fmla. If you did not plan to return than put in your two weeks when you decided to leave anyway if you are sure they will just ask you not to return. I had an employee that has been pregnant during my pregnancy. I requested that she schedule her leave but I did not force her bc I knew she initially wanted to work up to her due date. I do not see the benefits of making you work until the baby is born because you could go into labor earlier than your date anyway.
    dec2018mom
  • sevillanagalsevillanagal member
    edited February 2015
    That's terrible, I'm sorry. We (American women) really need to protest the ridiculous maternity leave policies in this country. Many economically disadvantaged countries have infinitely better laws in place.

    I guess they leave you no choice but to put your two weeks notice in around the day you were planning to go out. What will you do if they don't fire you on the spot and let you finish out the two weeks?
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    Swan22job445
  • Oh no that stinks! I am a teacher and our maternity leave starts on the day we give birth- earlier or later than our due date. If we choose to leave earlier and still have not had the baby, then it is not considered maternity leave and we need to use sick time. We get 8 weeks no matter what but unpaid. We can use sick time to get paid. So I wrote in my letter I would work until may 15th- I am due May 16th. It sucks but some places are just more strict!
  • OK. I need to be mean/real for a minute. I may be the only one who thinks this, but I don't understand why you think you should get time off before the baby is born just because you are moving. Do other people who move deserve time off? Just because you are pregnant, I don't think you deserve everything you want.
    I don't have any advice for you other than your company sounds like it's pretty standard. Good luck.

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    saric83rositalynda2014
  • ali0608 said:
    OK. I need to be mean/real for a minute. I may be the only one who thinks this, but I don't understand why you think you should get time off before the baby is born just because you are moving. Do other people who move deserve time off? Just because you are pregnant, I don't think you deserve everything you want. I don't have any advice for you other than your company sounds like it's pretty standard. Good luck.
    The reason I thought that I was going to get time off before the baby was because someone in my HR department told me that I could take maternity leave early without doctors approval. This seems to be what other women are doing as I have known 3 women who are pregnant/were pregnant. One girl took a month off before baby was born and she had no complications/doctors note to dismiss her from work early. Another girl took about 3 weeks before the baby was born and another girl is taking 1 month before baby. 
    So, that is why I was assuming that I'd get to take time off before baby too. 
    Nobody was saying that I deserve everything that I want, so you don't have to be rude. 
    I'm just saying that I do deserve the same treatment as other pregnant women in my department. :)


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    beccay1Shanfrey82
  • Thanks for all the replies ladies. I've decided that I'm going to just put in my two week notice a couple of weeks before I intend to leave. If they fire me then fine, but if not then wonderful, lol. 

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    Shanfrey82
  • If it makes you feel any better....in the Army we work until our water breaks. We can't take our maternity leave early either...now we can burn our own leave days of we want off prior to....but that is an exception and not the norm.
  • FTArmyM said:
    If it makes you feel any better....in the Army we work until our water breaks. We can't take our maternity leave early either...now we can burn our own leave days of we want off prior to....but that is an exception and not the norm.
    I couldn't imagine doing that! I'm learning that the last few months of pregnancy is so uncomfortable, lol. 
    image
  • ali0608 said:
    OK. I need to be mean/real for a minute. I may be the only one who thinks this, but I don't understand why you think you should get time off before the baby is born just because you are moving. Do other people who move deserve time off? Just because you are pregnant, I don't think you deserve everything you want. I don't have any advice for you other than your company sounds like it's pretty standard. Good luck.
    The reason I thought that I was going to get time off before the baby was because someone in my HR department told me that I could take maternity leave early without doctors approval. This seems to be what other women are doing as I have known 3 women who are pregnant/were pregnant. One girl took a month off before baby was born and she had no complications/doctors note to dismiss her from work early. Another girl took about 3 weeks before the baby was born and another girl is taking 1 month before baby. 
    So, that is why I was assuming that I'd get to take time off before baby too. 
    Nobody was saying that I deserve everything that I want, so you don't have to be rude. 
    I'm just saying that I do deserve the same treatment as other pregnant women in my department. :)


    I thought the same thing.  You didn't give the background detail about other people at work, so I don't think it's rude to put that into perspective.  If someone from my team wanted to take unpaid leave for a month for a move and to visit with family, it would be a tremendous burden on the rest of to cover for them, so I totally get why our company wouldn't approve that.  Leave like that is saved for medical reasons and bereavement-type of events.  But my question to the other ladies who took off at your work prior to their delivery is if they had vacation/PTO time that they were using and not just asking for random leave.  If you have any vacation or PTO time, definitely use it up before you put in your notice though!! 
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