Maternity Leave Question


I'm on maternity leave. When I went on maternity leave I was full-time. I am now getting paid from my accrued sick time. I just talked to my boss about coming back on either a part-time or prn status so I can have more time with my baby. Now I am wondering if I will still get paid the full 40 hrs a week from my sick time while I am on maternity leave if she changes my status to part-time or prn (i'm not due back until mid-march). I would like to go ahead and use the rest of my sick time before I go back. My question is, can they take away my hours while I am still on maternity leave? I was trying to do the right thing by letting them know early that I didn't want to come back full-time so they could look for someone else to fill in. I'm hoping I didn't screw up. If anybody knows the answer to this I'd sure like to know. I'm thinking I should talk to my boss again or someone in HR, but I'm not too savy when it comes to this kind of stuff.

Thanks Seren


63 Posts

Hi Seren, I think I am understanding you question. Please let me know if I am off the mark.

I am currently a nursing student but my current career is human resources specializing in FMLA and Short Term disability. First off I would recommend speaking to your HR so that you have a clear understanding of the leave of absence policy and the FMLA guidelines. From my understanding and how we interpret the law at my place of employment(non-healthcare), as long as you are covered under FMLA, your status cannot not be changed from FT until you return to work and request to be placed on part time. They only have to give you part time if it is available. While on FMLA covered leave you may use any paid time off you have accrued and is available to be used. You may also request to return part time and use the remaining hours under FMLA to cover your normal full time hours(and be paid by any paid time off hours available). This all has to be approved first of course.

Hope this helps,


Jolie, BSN

6,375 Posts

Specializes in Maternal - Child Health. Has 37 years experience.

Definitely speak with HR and learn your institution's policy on FMLA. Your doctor or midwife will need to fill out forms estimating the date you will be available to return to work. You may need to give the hospital notice (usually 2 weeks) of your intent to return to work. That is so that they can adjust the schedule to fit you back in without taking time away from those who have filled in during your abence.

If you do not return to work in a benefits-eligible position for a certain period of time (I think it is 6 months), the hospital may be able to bill you for the cost of the benefits they provided during your leave. Not all do, but that is an option they have.

As far as PTO that you have already earned, I don't think it can be taken away from you. If you do not use it all on your leave, I believe it will remain in your "bank". I'm not sure why you want to use it all now, though. Once you return to work, you are bound to have call-ins due to your illness or the baby's, so it might be a good idea to save some for future use. (Especially if you change your status to part time, since you won't earn PTO at the same rate that you did as a full-time employee.)

So many decisions to make! Best to be well-informed by speaking to HR and/or your manager.

Enjoy that baby!

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