Maternity Leave- US

Discussion in 'Pregnancy - Second Trimester' started by usamom, Jun 6, 2013.

  1. usamom

    usamom Well-Known Member

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    Hi there-

    I'm sure this has been discussed before but I can't find exactly what I'm looking for. I am trying to plan for my time off of work after this next baby comes. I know that here in the states we can take 12 weeks of unpaid leave under FMLA to "bond" with the newborn during the first year.

    I don't get any paid maternity leave through my employer (U.S. govt)- but I can use my annual/sick/accumulated comp time for the period of childbirth and recovery.

    So- essentially- does this mean I can take off whatever my doctor recommends for the birth itself, PLUS the unpaid FMLA leave?

    Inquiring at work isn't an option. I'm afraid once they know I want to take extended time off they will do anything to stop me. Just want to be aware of the laws and regulations.

    Any advice?
     
  2. BubsMom17

    BubsMom17 Officially Expecting #2!

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    You have to look into your state disability codes. Yes, FMLA covers federal rules, but each state has different rules when it comes to disability pay and what employers are required (or are not required) to allow. The states are all VERY from one another when it comes to this stuff... it gets so confusing. You may not qualify for mat pay through your employer, but you may qualify for short term disability pay through your state. You really have to go that route...
     
  3. AllieM

    AllieM Mom to 2 DS and D?

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    Fmla is the total time you can take off in a year in which they have to hold your job. I use my vacation time during that time si I can get paid but in total I still only get 12 weeks total.
     
  4. Starkette

    Starkette Well-Known Member

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    There is also PDL, paid disability leave, in which if you get your doctor to sign before giving birth, you can take paid time off BEFORE the baby is born. Usually, it's one month from the expected due date, most doctors will sign the form (all doctors offices should have them on hand) when you reach 36 weeks. You can't have the form signed before the 30 days, though. It must happen at the exact time your leave is needed. If that makes sense...
     
  5. usamom

    usamom Well-Known Member

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    I know that state disability and other types of disability are not an option. It's so depressing! I have a way to supplement my income so I can even do without the paycheck for a while if necessary. But sheesh- 12 weeks just isn't long enough!
     
  6. TMonster

    TMonster Well-Known Member

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    DH works for the fed govt and he was told that he can take his annual leave and sick leave and additional FMLA leave if he wants to. He has a woman in his office who just gave birth and she requested donations of people's annual leave so that she could take additional time off but I am not sure how donations of annual leave count.

    DH has 200 hours of leave saved up so he can take time off when the baby is born and not have to use FMLA unless he needs even more time off.
     
  7. CatherineK

    CatherineK Well-Known Member

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    Every employer can have different policies above and beyond the 12 week period of FMLA. You really need to talk to your HR to find out policies. If you work for federal gov, are you sure you don't have any paid disability? For instance, the same policies that would pay you if you had to be out for surgery or similar should cover you if the doc signs you off work and at at least six weeks after birth. Most people I know that work for the government are covered by a short term disability plan. Them at least that portion of your time off is covered.
    I am lucky, my employer carries short term disability, which pays me when the doc takes me off until I'm signed back after birth for full pay(6/8 weeks). Then the allow me to take an additional 12 weeks on top of that for bonding, although that is unpaid. With all my kids I've been signed off with pay by 37 weeks.
     
  8. ClipMyWings

    ClipMyWings Well-Known Member

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    I work in NYC for a large health system & I get 6-8 weeks of short term disability (50% of my pay) & have to supplement the rest with my paid time off that I have banked. From what I have gleaned from talking to HR about this, the total time I'm allowed off with them holding my job is 12 weeks for the FMLA.

    It's just that after the 6-8 weeks, I won't be paid and would have to use 100% of my paid time off. I'd check with your HR and see what they tell you. Mine didn't ask my name/info or anything when I called, so I'm guessing they give the same info to everyone who asks.
     
  9. usamom

    usamom Well-Known Member

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    This sounds close to what I was expecting. We have "zero" disability benefits of any kind unless I were to be permanently disabled for 12 months or longer. The "donations" can be used if you don't have enough leave to cover the birth/ recovery period, etc. I am allowed to advance 6 weeks of leave but if I didn't want to do that, I could ask for donated leave. I really don't plan to do that because I look at it as having this baby was my choice and I don't want to ask my colleagues to give up their leave on my behalf. Lets save that for a true emergency should one ever arise.

    Calling HR isn't so simple. I'm serious- there is called ID that will identify any agency phone that is used. I could try calling from my personal phone- but you almost always have to leave your info and have someone "get back to you" later. I'm in management and I'm still terrified.

    My hope is that my doctor will take me off work for a week or so before I deliver, and then 6-8 weeks after. Then- I can use FMLA unpaid beyond that. I don't necessarily want all 12 weeks at once- but would like to return part time for a while to ease back into it all. This is my last chance to have a baby and I want to enjoy every moment that I can!
     
  10. usamom

    usamom Well-Known Member

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    I know it's unbelievable- but even if I had cancer- I would have to use my accrued leave. I even researched short term disability benefits that I could pay for privately before I got pregnant and there were none affordable that made sense for what I needed (AFFLAC for example isn't an option since my employer doesn't provide it or network with them).
     
  11. nullaby

    nullaby Well-Known Member

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    Ugh dont get me started with Afflac. I had them for a little under a year when I had my son, and because it was not exactly 12 months from when I first signed up, they denied my claim. I REALLY needed it at that time too :growlmad:. Anywho!! If you have sick/vacation with my previous employer, I could take that time first and it did NOT count towards my FMLA. I was also able to request an extra 12 weeks for "bonding" time.
     
  12. usamom

    usamom Well-Known Member

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    I did some searching today and found it in writing where my agency allows 225 days for maternity leave! It was hidden down so deep in the archives I would have never found it on my own. Talked to someone who took extended maternity leave and she helped me out. Apparently even though its policy, you have to really fight for it. None of it is paid- unless you have accrued leave available to use. But still- it's more info than I had yesterday!
     
  13. LadyinWait

    LadyinWait Pregnant (Expecting)

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    Say what now?! I have AFLAC and I thought that as long as its been 10 months, I can use my STD for when the baby is born? Is that wrong?
     
  14. nullaby

    nullaby Well-Known Member

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    Maybe it varies by state or company policy?? I have no idea, but thats what i was told when i tried to file here through my previous employer.

    Usamom im glad you found how much time your able to take off :)
     

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