Maternity Leave Meeting — The Bump
September 2017 Moms

Maternity Leave Meeting

I have my maternity leave meeting with HR tomorrow.  I am a teacher so it needed to be before summer break.

Suddenly I don't feel very prepared.  This may be more for those who have already done this, but is there any specific questions I should be asking HR in terms of leave?

I know each employer is different, but any help or suggestions would be appreciated.  Thanks!

Re: Maternity Leave Meeting

  • I would make sure you leave the meeting understanding how much time you're allowed to take off, how much of that you can get paid for, and how your leave impacts your benefits. My employer continues to pay for health insurance for the first 8 weeks, but after that you have to pay yourself (fortunately I'm on my husband's insurance, so won't be an issue for me), so being aware of those types of things is important so you can plan accordingly.
    tfrangul
  • .. Do they have these meetings for other jobs..? I guess I should call and ask and find out the officials of my maternity leave..

    Me: 27 years old            DH: 27 years old
    Type 1 Diabetes since 2001, MTHFR hetero A1298T
    Dogs: Raider 4 yrs, Dex 4 yrs
    Married in July 2014
    TTC #1 since late Feb 2016
    BFP #1 3/29/16     MMC: 5/5/16
    BFP #2 7/6/16    SCH, D&C 8/4/16
    BFP #3 12/26/16     EDD: 9/6/17
    My Chart / My Diabetes/Pregnancy Blog
    My Type 1/TTC/Pregnancy Podcast: 
    Juicebox Podcast Episode 118
    A1Cs:
    1/12/16 6.7%
    5/25/16 6.0%
    11/2/16 6.1%
    3/22/16 5.8%
    4/27/17 5.4%
    6/13/17 5.3%
               
    "Sugar Fancy Tutu"
  • winerenwineren member
    500 Love Its Third Anniversary 100 Comments Name Dropper
    I think it depends on where you work. I just tell my supervisor and she talks to HR to make sure everything gets set up and will email them if I have any questions. I totally could email them directly but I get much faster results if she does it. 
    I would also ask if you're able to take leave before the baby is born as sick leave or if you have to have vacation time. Or, basically, when you can start maternity leave. My leave will be all FMLA without pay (I have Aflac but through my job it's no pay) but it doesn't kick in until I'm actually in the hospital having the baby or if I have another medical reason from my doctor. So if I'm out of leave and not on work restriction (hopefully not to both but it's been a rough few months) I won't be able to start my leave early at all.
  • @Rhubarb7216 thank you for the suggestions.

    @Sugargirl1019 I'm not sure.  When I contacted HR just to let them know when I plan on taking leave they said it was a formality and we needed to set one up.  I also got some paperwork to fill out and have my dr fill out for FMLA leave.

    @wineren good idea.  I am due right before school starts again in sept. so hopefully that won't be an issue for me, but may be for others.
  • @Sugargirl1019 I work in a more corporate setting (no offense @ellemnop90 - My DH is a teacher) but my office definitely doesnt do anything this formal. It's more like here's the employee handbook, talk to your boss they can pretty much make most exceptions and contact the short term disability company.  Obviously they are there if you have questions, but it's much much less formal.  I suspect school districts do this bc or collective bargaining agreements and bc the public is SO nosey about teachers (at least in my area) that god forbid one of them take a day off during the school year and every tax payer on earth not know why.  But I would suspect most places are much less formal. 

    ;
    Sugargirl1019
  • @ellemnop90  Okay, ask lots of questions, especially if you have short term disability insurance (STDI).  I'm working under the assumption that you meet all the requirements for FMLA, since you mentioned it already.  

    If you are using STDI, ask about what kind of leave you can use during your time off.  For example, I just found out that I have to use the STDI first, and only vacation leave during that 6 week period, not sick leave.  For example, since I'm only getting 80% pay, I may need to supplement with vacation leave if I don't have any money saved.  Once the six weeks of STDI are over, because I will still be out on FMLA, I can use any sick leave I have.  
    If you are only using FMLA, it should be straightforward- you can use whatever sick and vacation leave you have accrued (ask if you continue to accrue sick/ vacation time while on FMLA.  You should be able to, as long as you're being paid by the company and not through STDI).  After that is used up, you have the option of either going unpaid for up to the 12w, or going back to work.

    So- ask about STDI coverage.  What % does it cover?  For how long?  (Generally 6w for vaginal delivery, 8 for C section).  What leave can you use during STDI, if you are using it?  What leave can you use during FMLA (should be anything you have, but it doesn't hurt to clarify)?  Do you pay for your health insurance benefits out of pocket while on STDI (I have to do this, send in a check at some point)?  When do you need to have all the paperwork filled out and sent in?  Will they call and let you know that everything has been filed and you're ready to go once the baby is born?  
    DS1: Born 11.18.15
    DS2: EDD- 09.08.17

    Babysizer Cravings Pregnancy Tracker
    thinkpositive2017
  • I second what @ColoradoHiker said about STDI. Make sure you really understand that because from what I've learned, nearly every workplace does it different. At my workplace, FMLA, STD, and any PTO I have accrued has to be used concurrently. So if I have a vaginal delivery I will have 6 weeks of STD available to me, but I have to use any PTO I have accrued before I get paid for STD. For example, if I have 3 weeks of PTO I must use that then I would get paid 3 weeks of STD at 60% of my pay. I will actually have 6 weeks of PTO so unless I have a c-section, I won't be able to claim any STD. After that I would have another 6 weeks of FMLA available to me if I wanted to stay out longer, of course this is unpaid. 
    ColoradoHikerjena333-2
  • In addition to discussing my leave options, my HR person also went over any additional support the company provides new parents -- discounted drop-in daycare services for X days a year, reduced-cost postpartum counseling, etc.

    One big thing to know if you're taking any of your leave unpaid is how much your insurance will cost you during that period (my company only continues to pay the premium for you if you're on paid leave).
    Lilypie Pregnancy tickers
    tfrangul
  • I would also ask if there is anything they need signed by your doctor. During my last pregnancy I was told that under FMLA the 12 weeks was not automatic - my employer policy automatically gives 6 weeks for a vaginal delivery and 8 weeks for a cesarian without a doctor's note, but if I wanted the full 12 weeks I had to provide a doctor's note for any time above and beyond the 6 or 8 weeks. It seems like it was just a formality, though - my note just said I needed more time for bonding and breast feeding.

    Also, I would ask how all of your employment benefits will be impacted (will you accrue paid time off, will you be able to contribute to your retirement program, can you still get discounted gym memberships or whatever other little perks your employer might offer, etc.). A lot of these things might depend on whether you are on paid leave or unpaid leave, but some employers generously cover things that you wouldn't expect even when your leave is unpaid.

    **TW**
    Me & DH: 32
    Married 2013
    Kiddo #1: Sept 2015
    BFP: 1/19, EDD: 9/30

    "I'm having fruit salad for dinner. Well, it's mostly just grapes, actually. Ok all grapes. Fermented grapes. Fine, I'm having wine for dinner."
  • I also had a meeting with HR to discuss maternity leave. I am a public charter school teacher. I was fairly overwhelmed during the meeting, so I took detailed notes and asked questions via email after I had time to digest the information and speak with my husband​ about our options. For me, there was a lot of confusion regarding if I would get paid for school holidays that immediately after my paid leave of absence ends. (Short answer...I don't) I also would ask if you are required to use your sick leave and/or vacation time. Good luck! 
  • Thank you all for your advice.  The meeting went well.  I feel like I got most of the information I needed.

    Anyone that may still have leave questions, feel free to ask away on here!
  • Your state may have maternity laws that differ from FMLA as well. In my state, there is a 16 week maternity law, unpaid, but it's honored by my company. 
  • Omg I was depending on using all of my PTO followed by STD after that runs out to try to get to 12 weeks!! I hope STD doesn't become useless because I have pto! Where does this 12 week maternity leave come from (besides FMLA which is unpaid lame) because I cannot afford to be unpaid!

    Me: 27 years old            DH: 27 years old
    Type 1 Diabetes since 2001, MTHFR hetero A1298T
    Dogs: Raider 4 yrs, Dex 4 yrs
    Married in July 2014
    TTC #1 since late Feb 2016
    BFP #1 3/29/16     MMC: 5/5/16
    BFP #2 7/6/16    SCH, D&C 8/4/16
    BFP #3 12/26/16     EDD: 9/6/17
    My Chart / My Diabetes/Pregnancy Blog
    My Type 1/TTC/Pregnancy Podcast: 
    Juicebox Podcast Episode 118
    A1Cs:
    1/12/16 6.7%
    5/25/16 6.0%
    11/2/16 6.1%
    3/22/16 5.8%
    4/27/17 5.4%
    6/13/17 5.3%
               
    "Sugar Fancy Tutu"
  • jena333-2jena333-2 member
    500 Love Its 500 Comments First Anniversary Name Dropper
    edited May 2017
    @Sugargirl1019 Your PTO should not be null because of STDI.  At my company, I have to use the STDI first, and then use the PTO.  As a PP mentioned, it seems extremely individual to every company.  I would give your HR a call and get the exact details.  FMLA and STDI can be used concurrently, because all FMLA does is guarantee than you will have the same job or one of equal pay and station when you come back.  For whatever reason, my company lets us use vacation and STD at the same time, but not sick leave.  So, I have to wait for the 6w of STDI to end before I can use sick leave.  

    Like I said, call your HR, they will give you all the specifics.  And keep asking questions until you are happy, because it's super confusing sometimes, and getting clarity is important.
    The bolded bit varies GREATLY from company to company. My PTO is use before or lose during. FMLA, PTO, and STD will all run concurrently. I must use one week of PTO before I can get five weeks of STD (for a vaginal birth). So if I deliver with 2 weeks of PTO, they will take my first week, but also the second, and I will only get 4 weeks of STD pay. I can't, for example, use the first week, then five weeks of STD, followed by my other remaining week of PTO. I will only get the six weeks total, regardless of how it's divvied out between PTO and STD.

    Long story short - this all varies depending on your company's policy, so it's best to get the information directly from you HR person.
    ColoradoHikerdogdisnylovrwinerenlilpoots
  • My employer requires that I use all of my PTO before I can use any STD.

    **TW**
    Me & DH: 32
    Married 2013
    Kiddo #1: Sept 2015
    BFP: 1/19, EDD: 9/30

    "I'm having fruit salad for dinner. Well, it's mostly just grapes, actually. Ok all grapes. Fermented grapes. Fine, I'm having wine for dinner."
  • It's all complicated, needless to say!  At my last job, we had to use all our sick/ vacation leave first, and have two weeks unpaid time off before the STD kicked in.  It would be a lot clearer if it was standardized.
    DS1: Born 11.18.15
    DS2: EDD- 09.08.17

    Babysizer Cravings Pregnancy Tracker
    jena333-2
  • I agree that all companies are different. For mine STD kicks in after you are out for 30 days and the amount of weeks you are paid for depends on how long you have been with the company. For example I am using sick/vacation time for the first 30 days, being paid 3 weeks STD at my full rate, then use the rest of my PTO for my remaining time off.

  • I can choose to use PTO if I want to or not. There is a 7 day waiting period for STD to kick in at my job. I would rather have the PTO when I come back to work, so I choose not to use it. Thats at least how it worked 2 years ago. I plan on doing that this time too. 
  • I have one week waiting period before STD kicks in. I can take it unpaid or use PTO. Then I get either 5 or 7 weeks of STD that is 60%of my pay. After that I can use any remaining PTO if I want or take unpaid time. 
    Sugargirl1019jessieR358
  • I'm glad to see it varies - I will def be calling HR to discuss specifics! STD is something we had to sign up for during benefits, so not everyone gets STD for maternity leave (if you didn't sign up for it). I talked to my friend and she only used PTO and it gave her 9 weeks; she didn't sign up for STD so she couldn't speak to that.

    Me: 27 years old            DH: 27 years old
    Type 1 Diabetes since 2001, MTHFR hetero A1298T
    Dogs: Raider 4 yrs, Dex 4 yrs
    Married in July 2014
    TTC #1 since late Feb 2016
    BFP #1 3/29/16     MMC: 5/5/16
    BFP #2 7/6/16    SCH, D&C 8/4/16
    BFP #3 12/26/16     EDD: 9/6/17
    My Chart / My Diabetes/Pregnancy Blog
    My Type 1/TTC/Pregnancy Podcast: 
    Juicebox Podcast Episode 118
    A1Cs:
    1/12/16 6.7%
    5/25/16 6.0%
    11/2/16 6.1%
    3/22/16 5.8%
    4/27/17 5.4%
    6/13/17 5.3%
               
    "Sugar Fancy Tutu"
  • lap018lap018 member
    500 Love Its 500 Comments Third Anniversary First Answer
    With my company it was 6 weeks of STD (paid at 60%) but the first week of STD was unpaid and had to be covered by my own PTO then 5 weeks of paid at 60% and then whatever PTO I have left after that 5 weeks goes towards the rest of my maternity leave and then FMLA just guarantees that if I take 12 weeks off I will still have my job when I'm ready to come back but mostly FMLA is unpaid 
    Sugargirl1019
  • @lap018 That sounds like how it should be done! Or even give you the option to supplement your STD with PTO if you have enough for full pay.

    Me: 27 years old            DH: 27 years old
    Type 1 Diabetes since 2001, MTHFR hetero A1298T
    Dogs: Raider 4 yrs, Dex 4 yrs
    Married in July 2014
    TTC #1 since late Feb 2016
    BFP #1 3/29/16     MMC: 5/5/16
    BFP #2 7/6/16    SCH, D&C 8/4/16
    BFP #3 12/26/16     EDD: 9/6/17
    My Chart / My Diabetes/Pregnancy Blog
    My Type 1/TTC/Pregnancy Podcast: 
    Juicebox Podcast Episode 118
    A1Cs:
    1/12/16 6.7%
    5/25/16 6.0%
    11/2/16 6.1%
    3/22/16 5.8%
    4/27/17 5.4%
    6/13/17 5.3%
               
    "Sugar Fancy Tutu"
    lap018
  • lap018lap018 member
    500 Love Its 500 Comments Third Anniversary First Answer
    @Sugargirl1019 they actually gave me the option of making my STD at full pay or using the PTO for afterwards! So that was pretty cool! 
    Sugargirl1019wineren
  • My company gives four weeks PTO, allows you to use eight weeks of sick leave and then as much vacation time as you'd like to use (all at full pay)
    Lilypie Pregnancy tickers
    lilpoots
  • @Sugargirl1019 In a random side note, you need to update your pregnancy blog!  I check on it when I see the link, and I'm disappointed to see nothing new.  I mean this in the most creepy internet friend way ever.  :-D
    DS1: Born 11.18.15
    DS2: EDD- 09.08.17

    Babysizer Cravings Pregnancy Tracker
    Sugargirl1019BigBadWolf12wineren
  • @ColoradoHiker I do.. I think about it and then I'm like... remembering the aftermath of making it public to fb after this last post. Huge drama r/t my MIL. But I know adding another post wouldn't trigger everyone to see it and have her rehash her unhappiness about me having a secret diary. I need to. This is getting to be the big exciting part of pregnancy haha.

    Me: 27 years old            DH: 27 years old
    Type 1 Diabetes since 2001, MTHFR hetero A1298T
    Dogs: Raider 4 yrs, Dex 4 yrs
    Married in July 2014
    TTC #1 since late Feb 2016
    BFP #1 3/29/16     MMC: 5/5/16
    BFP #2 7/6/16    SCH, D&C 8/4/16
    BFP #3 12/26/16     EDD: 9/6/17
    My Chart / My Diabetes/Pregnancy Blog
    My Type 1/TTC/Pregnancy Podcast: 
    Juicebox Podcast Episode 118
    A1Cs:
    1/12/16 6.7%
    5/25/16 6.0%
    11/2/16 6.1%
    3/22/16 5.8%
    4/27/17 5.4%
    6/13/17 5.3%
               
    "Sugar Fancy Tutu"
    BigBadWolf12Hopefulmommy1980tfrangul
  • @Sugargirl1019 OH, I didn't know there was drama.  Why would she be upset about it?  My MIL certainly doesn't get to know everything going on with me and my pregnancy.   :/  Maybe change the address?
    DS1: Born 11.18.15
    DS2: EDD- 09.08.17

    Babysizer Cravings Pregnancy Tracker
    BigBadWolf12
  • @Sugargirl1019 Does she not realize that a blog is hardly a "secret" diary (unless, I suppose, it's viewable only to subscribers and you don't allow any subscribers)? Especially if you have announced it on FB? And also that if you do want to have a secret diary then you have every right to? And also that it's not about her? I don't know why but I just got super ragey. Apologies.

    **TW**
    Me & DH: 32
    Married 2013
    Kiddo #1: Sept 2015
    BFP: 1/19, EDD: 9/30

    "I'm having fruit salad for dinner. Well, it's mostly just grapes, actually. Ok all grapes. Fermented grapes. Fine, I'm having wine for dinner."
    ColoradoHikerBigBadWolf12JNR6510
  • @ColoradoHiker @lizlann Oh it was because I started it last year, but only decided to share my pregnancy posting a few weeks ago.. and she was upset that she didn't know about it and that I had it for so long. Apparently because I divulged my intimate feelings about our struggles last year and she didn't know them so she was mad that I kept things from her. Refused to talk to my husband for almost a week.

    Me: 27 years old            DH: 27 years old
    Type 1 Diabetes since 2001, MTHFR hetero A1298T
    Dogs: Raider 4 yrs, Dex 4 yrs
    Married in July 2014
    TTC #1 since late Feb 2016
    BFP #1 3/29/16     MMC: 5/5/16
    BFP #2 7/6/16    SCH, D&C 8/4/16
    BFP #3 12/26/16     EDD: 9/6/17
    My Chart / My Diabetes/Pregnancy Blog
    My Type 1/TTC/Pregnancy Podcast: 
    Juicebox Podcast Episode 118
    A1Cs:
    1/12/16 6.7%
    5/25/16 6.0%
    11/2/16 6.1%
    3/22/16 5.8%
    4/27/17 5.4%
    6/13/17 5.3%
               
    "Sugar Fancy Tutu"
    ColoradoHikerBigBadWolf12
  • @sugargirl1019 sorry you are going through that and your mil made your blog about your feelings all about her. 
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