If an employee (in the US obviously) starts a new job and goes out on maternity leave less than a year earlier, making her ineligible for FMLA, what ramifications does it have besides her job not being guaranteed to be held for 12 weeks?
It may vary from employer to employer. We have employees who don't qualify for FMLA as they never work the 1000 hours required. They have babies or other medical issues that keep them out of work for extended periods like 2-5 months and they retain their jobs. They may get state disability only for payment.
I'll be in that position next year so we'll see. :-s
The only thing FMLA guarantees is that your job will be held for 12 weeks so that's the benefit you lose if you don't qualify for FMLA. I have worked with plenty of people over the years who went out on maternity leave before their 1 year mark and all of them had jobs to come back to.
Actually, the FMLA law doesn't guarantee that "your" job will be held for you, just that the employer is required to provide you a comparable job when you return. I've seen employers get rid of "problem child" employees (people they want to get rid of but don't have grounds to fire) by telling them when they come back from FMLA that they don't have their previous job anymore and put them in a comparable position that they know the employee will hate, and sit back and wait for them to resign. Most people do end up continuing in their same jobs, but it's not a requirement.
I'm per diem and went on maternity leave for three months. I didn't get paid, but had no issues otherwise. I thought I would lose my job.
Does your company have their own type of leave? I was recently diagnosed with an autoimmune condition and thought I may have to miss some consecutive days (10) due to a procedure. This was back in March and my one year mark was May. It turns out my company has what they call "XXX company leave" for employees who don't meet the FMLA guidelines. It was basically a contract that was signed where they stated they would hold my job for x amount of time due to x condition. My hospital is very well known for being employee friendly (moms, illness, LGTBQ). Recently a co-worker who is PRN had to go to Portugal for 7 weeks to take care of her mom who eventually passed and she still has her job but she did not get paid for that time period. So, it doesn't hurt to ask!
If you're wanted badly enough, they'll keep your job open for you.
I was in an accident before I reached 1 year at my job. I was out for months recovering and had my job when I was medically cleared to return to work. It was known that I wasn't permanently disabled and that I'd eventually be able to return to full duty. With the amount of time and money that was spent training me for my specialty position it would have been stupid for them to not keep my job.
I took maternity leave before I qualified for FMLA. I still got the disability payment (5 weeks pay) that I would have gotten if I had a year under my belt. My hospital had what was called "parental leave" that I used to cover the weeks past my "disability." It was not considered job protecting, so they could have still technically let me go even with the leave, and I didn't get paid, so I don't really understand why it was necessary, but I took it anyway. Most hospitals will want to keep you, so you just have to ask them what you need to do to take off the time you want. Also, I worked with some people who just went back when their baby was 6 weeks old, which is when the company no longer considers you on disability leave. It's a hard thing to do and I wouldn't recommend it, but it is an option if that's what you want.
Last edit by August16RN on Jun 20
I had an ortho procedure that ran into some complications. Let's just say that one weekend turned into almost a month. The company did whatever they could within reason (shorter shifts, etc) to allow me to work what I could and about a month later with a doctors note I returned to my prior position. I found out after the fact that the employer gave 30 days for employees who did not qualify for FMLA to return to work. Turns out my poor supervisor filled in for my shift (I literally could not walk yet) and hurt her neck in the process so she was given 30 days being new herself-kind of odd considering hers was work related but that a whole different thread.
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