New York Babies

FMLA, maternity leave, & telling new boss...

So I just found out a couple of weeks ago that I'm pregnant, at this point it's about 7 weeks (first doctor's visit will be week 8). I started work at a new school (I'm a high school teacher at a charter school) this year & I've got a pile of worries. 

1. After sitting through the epically long HR benefits seminar, I came out with the knowledge that the network doesn't "cover" maternity leave until you've been working there for 12 months. I'm due in April. What does that mean? I have a baby & come back a week later?...

2. Some friends have mentioned FMLA, but I'm not totally sure how that works. 

3. When should I tell my new principal? I've got crazy baby bloat (not necessarily a bump but it kind of looks like one), pretty bad morning sickness, & lots of maternity-related questions I want to ask...but I don't want to spill the beans until I have to! 

Advice would be amazing, preferably from other teachers in the NYC area! 

Re: FMLA, maternity leave, & telling new boss...

  • @dancercammie137 I work at a BK charter. While I am one of those "covered" because of my time at my charter organization, I can tell you about FMLA. I happened to take FMLA leave earlier this year (February- April) when my mom passed and I took on part time care responsibilities for my dad. It is unpaid, so if you go the FMLA route, start saving a percentage of your salary now (if you don't already have some money put aside). Also, tell your principal. It allows the school to create a plan in advance of you leaving and allows you to work with them to make some of your desires known early on. This, of course, depends on the organization you work for. I work for AF and find that they are very good at trying to accommodate moms and moms to be. While they still don't have it all figured out, they make an attempt.

    Hope this helps.
  • I suggest looking into disability. I cannot remember the proper title, but there is a type of disability that allows you like 1/4 of your salary for a bit of time. There are certain stipulations in regards to that though. Are you in the UFT? I know some charter teachers are now able to participate in the union. I don't work for a charter and only know about them in regards to their community impact and space infringement, but that is a whole other convo. Seriously though, look up your rights and ask for the info in print.
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  • Unfortunately, FMLA only applies if you have been at the job for a year. You're going to have to negotiate time off with your employer. Unfortunately, you're at their discretion. However, there are Ny state laws that will apply and the pregnancy discrimination act will apply as long as you have enough employees. I would educate yourself and be prepared for the discussion knowing what they can and can't do.
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