I'm 31 and have been working at my first RN job for 3 months. DH and I are ready to start trying for a baby and I think the timing is right since I'll get in that crucial first year of med-surg experience.
My question is about the the FMLA. According to the paperwork I got when I started I'm eligible for FMLA leave after I've worked full-time for 12 months. More specifically it says "Must have completed 12 consecutive months of employment prior to request" it also says that employees should provide the hospital with at least 30 days notice. What exactly does "prior to request" mean? Prior to the date you want to begin leave or prior to the date you hand in your application requesting leave?
If I were to have a due date in late November and my 1 year employment anniversary is in late October would I have trouble getting leave? I plan to work until 38 weeks or so, so I would request leave beginning, say, early-mid November, but given the 30 days notice, I would have to submit my formal application in early-mid October. I would have 12 months before I actually went on leave, but not 12 months by the time of my request. Does that make sense? Would this be a problem?
I don't want to call HR and ask because I feel like as a new hire they might not be thrilled about my plans. I could also just play it safe and wait another month before we start trying, but we've been married for 7 years and the biological alarm clock is ringing!!
FYI - obviously I will let my manager know about all this early in my second trimester so she has time to prepare, I'm just trying to figure out the leave part of it.
I'm grateful for any help you can give me on this!
Feb 6, '12
Quote from ExpatHopeful
More specifically it says "Must have completed 12 consecutive months of employment prior to request"
It's not confusing at all. Work 12 consecutive months, and then you can request a leave, which will not be approved until 30 days have passed. And be warned that it could take months to conceive, despite your efforts or hopes
Feb 6, '12
Quote from NoviceRN10
It's not confusing at all. Work 12 consecutive months, and then you can request a leave, which will not be approved until 30 days have passed.
Well, I'm confused. And the more I look at the HR pages of other employers the more it looks as if the opposite is true. That as long as you've been employed for 12 months by the date your FMLA leave begins you qualify, regardless of when you submitted your request.
And be warned that it could take months to conceive, despite your efforts or hopes
Obviously. I'd be pretty stupid though if I didn't plan for the possibility that I might become pregnant the first month of trying because there are plenty of women who do.
Feb 6, '12
The FMLA law requires that you have been employed for 12 months AND have worked (and that means WORKED, PTO time does not count) 1250 hours. My understanding is that you have to have met that obligation by the start of your leave.
I think it is lovely that you plan to work until 38 weeks but you cannot count on that. There are plenty of complications of pregnancy that could cause you to go out early. I would sincerely hope that you have an easy, full term pregnancy. I would not risk my job/insurance on it, though.
Also, please keep in mind that you get one FMLA in a rolling year. I was diagnosed with breast cancer on the same day that my husband was diagnosed with ALS. I went on FMLA during my treatment. Shortly thereafter, he began to fail so I applied for FMLA due to his illness. I was approved for 12 weeks minus the time that I took for my own FMLA. Some folks think they get 12 weeks for themselves and can then add on another 12 weeks if the wee one has issues. It does not work out that way.
I wish you good luck and a lovely, full term, juicy wee one. Would it be so difficult to wait a few more months to start trying to be sure that you have the protection that you need? Best wishes on whatever you decide!
Feb 7, '12
Thanks for the thoughtful reply Alsgal. I do know on a logical level that I should wait another month or two to give myself that extra 'just in case' buffer. And that is pretty much the same advice that my mother gave me. It's just hard to rein in our desire for a family. We've waited so many years for the timing to be right, to have finished school, developed our careers, and gotten our finances in order. Somehow this last month or so of waiting is the hardest because we are so close to taking our family/relationship to that next level.
But I do deeply appreciate what you're saying, and what you went through sounds awful and is a real reminder that things can and do go wrong with best case scenarios. Since my intellect usually wins out over my heart I'll probably follow your advice and make myself wait a little longer, but it won't be easy!
Feb 7, '12
Do you have a contract? If so look in there, or ask hr about seperate maternity leave. At my job its written into the contract that if you need maternity leave before you qualify for FMLA then we get 12weeks maternity leave (its like getting your FMLA early?). One of the more seasoned nurses I work with said something along the lines of 'new nurses get hired and get married/have babies right away all the time, they're (the employer) prepared for it to happen'. Maybe you've got some clause along those lines? Good luck in your quest for baby!
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