The general public's knowledge of Maternity Leave — The Bump
November 2013 Moms

The general public's knowledge of Maternity Leave

I shouldnt be based on early posts on this board, but i'm a little flabbergasted at people's ignorance about maternity leave laws.  A coworker of mine (a STM?!) who is due in feb stopped me to ask about my leave plans last week.  She was under the impression that we got 3 months paid leave.  when i explained that no, you needed to use vacation time and short term disability to cover leave she said, oh so i'll just sign up for STD during open enrollment.  umm no, you have a pre-existing condition now.  I'm wondering what the heck she will do, but there's not alot she can do at this point to get her leave paid for.  

am I the only OCD person that cornered her HR people at open enrollment years ago to figure out what i needed to do for maternity leave?  I fully intend to send an email to my other coworker who is TTC and making sure she's on top of this.  yeesh.  oh, and I LOVE the people who seem shocked that I am taking 3 months.  they honestly think that 6 weeks is enough and I should be back.  ::face-palm::
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[Deleted User]

Re: The general public's knowledge of Maternity Leave

  • I looked into mine a year before our first to see if I needed extra short-term disability insurance.

    It can get confusing regarding coverage and when you need to sign up for it. Every state and country is different.
    [Deleted User]
  • This was one of the first things I researched, just so we could plan financially.  My company is too small for FMLA so I'll have STD.  The office manager keeps conveniently bringing up how she went back to work when LO was 2 weeks old.  Number one, I'm not you.  Number two, I'm not from here and can't take a 2 week old to daycare.  And, Number three, I want to spend my full 6 weeks with LO!  I'll still have some vacation time too which I fully intend to use to ease back into work if I need or want to.

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  • I keep finding that everyone thinks that FMLA means you get paid for leave. It just guarantees your position or one equal to it when you get back. And I don't get FMLA anyway, I just started with the company in April, haven't made my year yet.

  • My boss thinks its a vacation... Like I am just taking three months off and can do whatever I want. Umm pretty sure you wouldn't want me to be at work like this... My LO is now 8 days old, I'm still healing and feeding my child every two hours. Not to mention tired and wouldn't be able to focus. Also, I can't believe that people think 3 months is a long time. They are still very little at that age. Honestly I think 6 months would be a good age to start alternative care. It would be a huge benefit to those who are breastfeeding.
    BFP CP 1/12/11 DD born 10/16/11
    cagoldi[Deleted User][Deleted User]
  • We have a STD buy up option that lets us receive 80% of our pay rather than 60%. I sign up for it every year during open enrollment because we were never certain when we would want to start TTC so we figured better safe than sorry.

    Some of my co-workers can't believe I'm taking off "a whole 3 months." CA has a paid family leave benefit that will give me 55% after my 6 weeks of STD is over. If FMLA offered longer than just 12 weeks as job protection I would take it, even unpaid.
    [Deleted User]
  • I guess I never realized how lucky I am.  I've had 12 weeks paid leave for both my kids.  I find it unacceptable that we don't have legal protections in place for new working mothers in small businesses.  It's totally ridiculous that some women have to take unpaid leave or cobble together vacation and sick time.  In fact, it's infuriating.  This needs to change - but how?  Oftentimes it seems like we women are totally powerless when it comes to issues specific to women and children.
    Karadee1[Deleted User][Deleted User]
  • Im a Benefits Specialist and am never surprised anymore at how little ppl know about FMLA and/or STD. No one gives a crap or bothers to pay attention until its staring them in the face. Even then I get employees who still could care less and ask no questions about all the info I give them regarding their leave. However, I've done this job for almost 6 years now and have walked dozens of women thru their MATL schedules (as well as plenty of others thru other types of medical leaves). I'm so excited that its finally my turn!! w00t


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