Women Not Taking Full Maternity Benefits

Avatar for Cmmelissa
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-13-2008
Women Not Taking Full Maternity Benefits
3
Fri, 05-10-2013 - 12:02pm

AOL is reporting on a study that found that some women don't feel they can take the full maternity they are allowed: 

The study released Thursday by CareerBuilder found that nearly 1 in 3 (30 percent) of women who have had a child in the past three years have cut short their maternity leaves, not taking as much as their employers' policies would allow. Of women who have had children in the past three years, less than half -- 44 percent -- took eight weeks or more of maternity leave. The rest took less, often far less.

According to the survey, 12 percent of women went back to work after taking a leave of just two weeks or less. CareerBuilder, an AOL Jobs partner, speculated that "competitive work environments" and "demanding positions" are discouraging women from taking full advantage of maternity leave. 

Read more: http://jobs.aol.com/articles/2013/05/10/study-women-dont-take-full-maternity-leave/?icid=maing-grid7%7Cmain5%7Cdl5%7Csec3_lnk1%26pLid%3D311081

The article also goes on to say that paid maternity leave benefits are decreasing while pregnancy discrimination complaints have increased.  

How worried are you about discrimination if you took full maternity leave?  Have you ever witnessed it in the workplace?

When I was on leave with my twins, the CFO was convinced I wouldn't be back and treated me pretty poorly (the HR manager had very loose lips). After I came back, he was amazed at my performance, while I was doing nothing different than before I went on leave.  It was all his own misperceptions, not my work ability.  He had no concept of needing two paychecks to survive,  I had no choice but to return.  

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-21-2001
Thu, 05-30-2013 - 9:02pm
I returned much earlier than I expected with #2 (9 weeks, I was eligible for 18). Frankly, I needed to be at work and I felt guilty about being out. But later, I expected to use 2 extra weeks because my son needed surgery, and they wouldn't let me. When on baby bonding leave, they required me to use 2 weeks vacation. When it came time for the surgery, they said I had to use all my vacation again before getting paid family leave (I live in CA). The only way I could have gotten all of my PFL would have been to take 5 weeks off during the surgery.
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-01-2002
Fri, 05-10-2013 - 1:49pm

Cmmelissa wrote:
...When I was on leave with my twins, the CFO was convinced I wouldn't be back and treated me pretty poorly (the HR manager had very loose lips). After I came back, he was amazed at my performance, while I was doing nothing different than before I went on leave.  It was all his own misperceptions, not my work ability.  He had no concept of needing two paychecks to survive,  I had no choice but to return.  </p>

I've heard of this ~ where the CFO or other supervisors back at the office treat the new mom on maternity leave very poorly.  Texts, e-mails, where's this?, where's that?, kind of thing just to interrupt the leave I guess.  But paid maternity leave benefits are something employees accrue during their tenure.  Ex., 2 years employment gets mom 4 weeks paid maternity leave; 4 years gets 8 weeks paid, etc.  And mom has every right to give notice at the end of her 3 months FMLA leave too.  So why do these crazy superiors do this?  Control freaks!

Also, the article says women are abbreviating their maternity leaves to show employers they intend to give 100% at work.  I partly disagree.  If maternity leave is not paid, I'd think women are cutting leave short because of the economy and the need for the paycheck.  Firing someone for taking her full maternity leave can only result in a lawsuit.

The article mentions an increase in filings of pregnancy discrimination with the EEOC.  That can often be attributed to a bad economy as we've had lately.  If anything, I think employers are more careful these days not to demote, harass or fire during a maternity leave.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2013
Fri, 05-10-2013 - 1:17pm

How worried are you about discrimination if you took full maternity leave?  

Nope. I had 2 children in the same workplace and had no problems whatsoever taking my full 12 weeks. At that time I didn't have to take my own time though so I was able to come back to all my vacation, sick and personal days (which helped a lot when the kids were sick in that first year from going to daycare)

Have you ever witnessed it in the workplace?

Nope. I have stated before, one of the head managers at my job took 6 months. Her job was there when she came back and she had a lot of responsibilities but they were taken over by someone else during that time. My own manager took her entire 12 weeks also. We just all helped out and got everything done.