Maternity leave length dictated

  1. I have a question. I had a baby in November, and now I realize my manager hired me when I was 23 weeks along (or so) and so that was nice that she even took that risk, but I wonder about something. I was asking her, long about September or so how long I get for maternity leave. She paused, and said that I was federally protected for up to 12 weeks but "from a business standpoint and a managerial standpoint, I have to be honest, taking that much time will make it really difficult for staffing". She basically told me she did not want me to take the full 12 weeks. I was allowed 8 weeks because I had a cesarean delivery, I elected to take 10 weeks. Co-workers who were present for that interaction said she had no business telling me how long to take. Even one of the doctors said "screw that- take the 12 weeks!"

    I go back in about 3 weeks. Right now, despite this being our third child I don't feel ready to go back- oh physically I'm ok, I'm feeling ok in that respect but emotionally and mentally I don't feel good about going back yet. There are a few specific reasons- hours for instance and I don't know...

    My OB said she could write a letter saying I'm not cleared yet and I should go ahead and take those 2 extra weeks. Financially we're hurting, my husband's job isn't terribly well paying and is pretty much a blue-collar grunt work job. That's one reason I'm hesitant to take the two extra weeks but the other reason is that I'm scared that if I do take them, I'll be sacked. Oh I know she can't can me for taking time that I'm federally protected under but I'm not dumb, she could always find another reason. Again I realize that likely her hands are tied by higher ups and their "business" viewpoint, and it was good of her to have me to begin with. But I wonder if she has the authority to dictate to me how long I can take.

    Your thoughts?
    •  
  2. 8 Comments

  3. by   MunoRN
    If your manager hired you when you were 23 weeks pregnant and then you took time off when the baby was born then you don't actually qualify for any FMLA covered time off, since that would have only been about 4 months on the job.
  4. by   Jules A
    You have asked and answered your own question, if you piss your boss off, even legally it can make things difficult for you. Not saying its fair or that you need to make this decision solely based on that but it is a significant point to consider, imo. For me the financial worries would negate all and so work would be a respite no matter how difficult but it sounds like there is something else going on "hours and I don't know..." Any chance you are having postpartum mood issues? If not and you are just overwhelmed with 3 kids and financial issues if you are cleared by your OB it might be better to get back in the saddle? Good luck with whatever you decide, it sounds like you have a lot on your late right now.
  5. by   meanmaryjean
    You're saying she 'dictated' how long you could be off but it seems like she told you the realities and YOU made your own choice. I think you're projecting your not wanting to go back to work on your boss. And yes, you do not qualify for FMLA and could jeopardize your position by not returning when you said you would.
  6. by   Rose_Queen
    Quote from MunoRN
    If your manager hired you when you were 23 weeks pregnant and then you took time off when the baby was born then you don't actually qualify for any FMLA covered time off, since that would have only been about 4 months on the job.
    And unless you were employed elsewhere in the same facility and did qualify for FMLA, then your manager has already done more than federally required. Not all employers would have even considered holding the position, especially if there were already staffing issues.
  7. by   Skippingtowork
    Your boss is not an idiot, nor is HR. Taking 2 more weeks will not jeapordize your job in any way. Get the doctors note and let your manager know you will be back full swing and committed to your unit. Does anyone actually think she can hire someone and train in the time period you're talking about? She had no business discussing difficulty with staffing with you and is on the brink of putting the hospital in a bad position. It doesn't matter if you qualify for FMLA or not. You were 23 weeks pregnant and she hired you. Do you really think she's going to fire you for taking 2 exra weeks after having a baby. I've been in the same boat before with the same conversation with management and the director of HR laughed and laughed when he heard about it.
  8. by   OrganizedChaos
    Quote from Stepney
    Your boss is not an idiot, nor is HR. Taking 2 more weeks will not jeapordize your job in any way. Get the doctors note and let your manager know you will be back full swing and committed to your unit. Does anyone actually think she can hire someone and train in the time period you're talking about? She had no business discussing difficulty with staffing with you and is on the brink of putting the hospital in a bad position. It doesn't matter if you qualify for FMLA or not. You were 23 weeks pregnant and she hired you. Do you really think she's going to fire you for taking 2 exra weeks after having a baby. I've been in the same boat before with the same conversation with management and the director of HR laughed and laughed when he heard about it.
    Taking an extra 2 weeks *could* threaten the OP's job. She is not protected by FMLA or any other law. I'd say the manager was pretty generous considering the OP hadn't been there a year.
  9. by   Ruby Vee
    Quote from Stepney
    Your boss is not an idiot, nor is HR. Taking 2 more weeks will not jeapordize your job in any way. Get the doctors note and let your manager know you will be back full swing and committed to your unit. Does anyone actually think she can hire someone and train in the time period you're talking about? She had no business discussing difficulty with staffing with you and is on the brink of putting the hospital in a bad position. It doesn't matter if you qualify for FMLA or not. You were 23 weeks pregnant and she hired you. Do you really think she's going to fire you for taking 2 exra weeks after having a baby. I've been in the same boat before with the same conversation with management and the director of HR laughed and laughed when he heard about it.
    Although, as the OP noted, the manager can always find some other "reason" to let the OP go.
  10. by   Skippingtowork
    Quote from Ruby Vee
    Although, as the OP noted, the manager can always find some other "reason" to let the OP go.
    I agree with you on that. But it would be interesting if the conversation about the extra 2 weeks came up. I still don't think HR would go along with that. I think it really behooves OP to have a serious conversation with her boss, not demanding, but appealing to her common sense and fulfilling her obligation to return committed. I think she should give it a shot. Also sometimes an informal conversation with HR about options may be helpful. But I agree with your point. She should know her boss's track record.

close