Working Moms

Who to tell about pregnancy & short term disability - advice

Hi All,

Sorry if something similar has been asked, I didn't see anything come up in the search. 

First would you think it's okay to tell my female director (boss's boss) at work before my male boss? I feel more comfortable taking to her and she's mentioned me having a family before, where my male boss says thinks like "wait to have kids". I was planning to speak to HR first before telling my supervisors so I could learn about benefits. 

Also our HR manual does not say anything about paid maternity leave, it says we can use short-term disability for pregnancy.  However I didn't pay for ST disability this year and could enroll in November for next year, but I'm concerned pregnancy would be an existing condition (I'll be 4 months along by January). Should I not tell HR and enroll myself? Or would I be disqualified? 

Has anyone had experience advocating for paid leave? My mom seams to think my company might evaluate it on a case by case basis.  I don't know if we have a policy on paid leave and I can't ask anyone without outing myself.  

Re: Who to tell about pregnancy & short term disability - advice

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    You will need to check with HR but i know when i signed up for ST disability they made a point of telling me I could not be pregnant at the time and be able to use it. Im fairly certain you would already be disqualified at this point, I even had to sign something when i increased my ST disability last year saying that i was not pregnant. As for the paid leave, hey it wouldn't hurt to ask! But i wouldnt get my hopes up too high its a fairly uncommon benefit. Good luck!
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    I don't think many companies in the US have maternity leave; like yours I think most have STD. In addition to STD, I took an extended Leave of Absence (past the amount "protected" by FMLA - which isn't much protection) and it was Unpaid. And then being in a Sales position, I found myself financially penalized upon my return, but I worked at home and did flex time to compensate. It recently occurred to me that I am doing my ART treatment end of year so if I get pg I would have to pay my high deductible all over again next year. I say: Happy problem! (having struggled for yrs to maintain a pg)

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    Most companies do not offer paid maternity leave. I would suggest saving up all your sick, vacation and/or personal leave time. My employer pays for disability so I didn't incur any costs or have to "sign up" for that. I waited until I was 12-13 weeks and spoke with my boss. We went over tentative plans for my maternity leave. Then I spoke with HR about my options. When I was pregnant, I qualified for FMLA and short term disability. My maternity leave was paid for by my time saved up and the short term disability. For short disability (in my case), I had to use all my sick leave up. Once I had the baby, then my doctor signed off on a form with a date that I was able to return to work. Typially it's six weeks for a vaginal and eight weeks for a c section. 
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    I signed up for short term disability while pregnant- I scoured the fine print on the policy and couldn't find anything that said pregnancy was a pre-existing condition... but I still wouldn't be surprised if they reject my claim. I would definitely recommend talking with HR, and then even calling the insurance company if your HR person doesn't know.
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    "Not telling" won't make any difference in whether a ST claim is approved or not. Prior to approving the claim, the insurer would require medical records, which would provide evidence of the preexisting condition (which pregnancy would be, in most cases, but you'd have to read the fine print of your policy).
    As pp say, the best way to figure out your options is to talk to HR. The HR Rep is obligated to maintain confidentiality, so you won't be "outing yourself."
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    Some policies have pre-existing condition limitations on them and some do not. The only way to know is to ask your HR or get a copy of the policy and read yourself or contact the insurance carrier who handles the claims for your company (if they use one).
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    I had to break the news to my boss's boss early because my boss wasn't working with me on doctors appointments. I ended up taking her advice and filing for intermittent leave of absence, which protects anything I miss as work due to the pregnancy.

    My company automatically gives us STD and it's a paid leave of absence for "maternity leave" but only full pay for the first 6 weeks and the. 60% the next 12. After that no pay. My STD for intermittent is unpaid, but with proper scheduling of my doctors appointments, my schedule works around it and I get my full hours.

    I would definitely check out the FMLA LOA, because that's a federal given leave due to any medical or family medical needs. I also see no problem in calling HR and talking about options before you speak with your management.


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