When do you talk to your HR department about maternity leave? — The Bump
2nd Trimester

When do you talk to your HR department about maternity leave?

Hi Everybody,

I'm 14 weeks. My bosses know I'm preggers, and they know my due date is in October. What i haven't done yet is talk directly with HR. Any ideas on when you're supposed to do that? Immediately? Or is now too early? My boss said she wanted to go to HR with me. Is that normal? And if I wait on my boss to get a free moment, I might be waiting until July... Thoughts? When did you go to HR to discuss benefits and whatnot?

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Re: When do you talk to your HR department about maternity leave?

  • I am wondering the same thing.  They have known for some time as I couldn't lie about the paid anymore. But I am the first woman at the office that is going through this so I am not sure that HR even has a policy.  I work for a company that is all men and the other women at the office had their kids before they came here. Not sure when to sit down and have this discussion.
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  • I feel like I went to my HR department a bit late (around 18 weeks) because apparently at my work they have a policy that maternity leave and paid time off covers all of your Dr.'s appointments through pregnancy as well.  Wish I would have known that sooner because I was using my vacation and sick days for Dr.'s appointments.  I would go to HR as soon as you can just so you are aware of what you need to do when the time comes and to see if there are any other policies that benefit you while you are still working.
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  • I called mine right around 14 weeks with a set of questions that I had, and had her send me all of the paperwork. I got blindsided with a couple of things, so it was really nice to do it on my own, without my boss sitting next to me. I also had some specific questions that I wanted answered that I don't think my boss needed to be around for. 
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  • I talked to mine already - but didn't tell them I was pregnant - I just got some guidelines and hypothetical's.  I'm pretty sure they know  -  oh well.  Anyways, I think the sooner the better.  For me - it was kind of stressful, wondering about pay and vacation days, etc.  I also think you should do it alone.  There is no reason your boss needs to be involved in your decision for maternity leave.  They need to be made aware of your decision and they can ask their questions to HR after that - but they do not need to be involved in the initial decision.

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  • Drubie, what "blindsided" you? Do tell if you think it could help the rest of us. I have no idea why my boss wants to be there with me to discuss everything. But I do think it makes sense to at least have an initial conversation between just me and HR and then bring the boss into it later. I just don't want to get into "trouble" for going to HR without permission so to speak. My shop is frightened of HR, so the bosses don't want you going up there without telling them first.
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  • I talked to mine around 6 weeks.  I got the paper work around 13 weeks after we found out it was twins.  I will probably have everything done by the end of may.
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  • We don't actually go through HR for our maternity leave.  We have an employee service center (basically a 3rd party vender) that handles all leave raequest and STD claims.  Our policy is for maternity you have to contact them at least 30 days before your expected leave date. 

    I called them around 20 weeks to have the information packet/forms sent to me, I don't like waiting until the last minute.

    My company has a very clear and written maternity policy, so there is nothing to negotiage or really discuss other than then telling you this is what is allowed. We are only allowed what FMLA gives us, up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave, with 6 weeks of the 12 being covered under STD.  If we want to do anything else (like I am taking 6 weeks STD and then working from home part-time for 2 weeks), we have to work that out directly with our boss.  However, no one can authorize more paid time off.  Some bosses (like mine) will let you work from home for a little while and others will let you take an extra week or 2 off unpaid.

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  • image BronzeMama:
    Drubie, what "blindsided" you? Do tell if you think it could help the rest of us. I have no idea why my boss wants to be there with me to discuss everything. But I do think it makes sense to at least have an initial conversation between just me and HR and then bring the boss into it later. I just don't want to get into "trouble" for going to HR without permission so to speak. My shop is frightened of HR, so the bosses don't want you going up there without telling them first.

    There is something wrong with the bolded.  That plus your boss wanting to go with you is definitely a red flag in my mind.  I would go without your boss.  If they aren't doing anything against policy or unethical there is no reason for them to be afraid of HR.  I would find a time that you know your boss can't make it and just schedule the appointment with HR, then tell your boss you are meeting with them and sorry he/she can't make it but hopefully HR will be able to go over everything with your boss at another time on his/her own.

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  • I spoke with HR after I told my bosses. I think you should go talk to them alone, and then if your boss wants a second meeting to be in the loop on policies, that's OK. Some of your questions may be personal and HR has to keep the confidentiality that you two met in the first place, so your boss doesn't have to have any part in it.
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  • hmp1hmp1 member
    Ninth Anniversary 10000 Comments 250 Answers 500 Love Its
    With DS, I told them around 13 weeks. They sent me all the info about our maternity policy as well as wellness packages for having a healthy pregnancy. I gave them my EDD and didn't have to do anything else until I delivered. I haven't called yet with this one.

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  • I work in HR and handle all the FMLA and LOA request. 90-60 days before your due date is good timing. I have some mothers talk to me as soon as they get the + sign and others that wait until  the month they are due. I personally when have my Dr complete all my paperwork in June.

     ** ask every question you can think of, that way you are well prepared.

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