I feel like I'm in the worst purgatory imaginable.
I'm so sorry to hear that your bosses aren't really working with you for your maternity leave:(
However I did want to reassure you that there are many places that accept newborns even as early as a week old, and many people unfortunately do have to go back to work within 2-4 weeks of having babies so physically, especially if you don't have a C-section you would probably be able to handle it. I'm not saying it would be a positive experience but I did just want to reassure you that it is possible.
I however hope that a much better solution will be found and that you will be able to take the amount of maternity leave that you want!!!!!!
Wow, what a pickle you're in. ((hugs))
I know people out there probably have returned to work after 4 weeks because they had to, but that doesn't mean that it's ideal! I thought the "usual" time that a doctor would release a woman back to work was 6 weeks, if not longer. I know your bosses haven't officially told you yet, but I would go into the discussion prepared to negotiate/offer a compromise. If they won't budge, I'd say that since you are "too profitable to be gone for too long," then they certainly would not want to let you go as an employee over something such as this.
I am a teacher, job-sharing this year with another teacher. In my school district, job-sharing had never been done before, and when we proposed doing it, we were told a flat-out "no." We were able to persuade the administration to let us do it for one year. It's been a success, and halfway through this year, we were told that we'd been approved to continue, so we're doing it next year as well. Our principal told us that any other people wanting to job-share would be denied, we were a special case. The administration did not want to lose two quality veteran teachers, so agreed to the situation, even though it was a gamble, not knowing how it would work out.
So my advice is to see what they're offering, and try to sway them in your favor, since such things are supposed to be a case-by-case basis and negotiable. Best of luck to you, and KUP!
I should mention that I only know about women returning to work so quickly due to my EC- so please listen to the other ladies if that isn't normal!
There are just quite a few returning before 6 weeks so I assumed that it was allowed by doctors. We have a totally different system here in Germany so there isn't any point in me saying it would be illegal here.
I know that my mom had childcare before 6 weeks but she used a private daycare so that might have made a difference.
Either way I would think that as you weren't even asking for full pay for the whole time that they would be able to compromise and do something like 6 weeks full or three quarter pay and then maybe 6 weeks with you working from home or half time or something like that.
Mary - I'm so sorry that you are in this position!
I think a couple points raised by other ladies here are really valid:-That they obviously value you greatly as an employee, so you have a good amount of leverage to negotiate with.-That if your doctor will specify that it is medically neccessary for you to have 6 weeks recovery, it's hard to see how they could deny you that, at least.
Aside from that, is it possible that your DH could take some time off of work, so that the baby would not have to go into full-time daycare so soon? I'm sure
<a href="http://lilypie.com/"><img src="http://lbdf.lilypie.com/WEETm5.png" width="400" height="80" border="0" alt="Lilypie Pregnancy tickers" />
Does your employer offer short term disability?
I was in a similar situation to you when I had DS (on maternity leave 6 years go now). I was the first female they ever hired, had been at my position for 4 years and was also too valuable to miss a good deal of work (still am, as they told me on Monday after I missed a half day for car troubles). I was the first person to ever need or want to take maternity leave. Maternity leave wasn't covered in the employee handbook (all 2 pages of it they had back then... 10 employees in business for 10 years). (Oh, and I was also the breadwinner, XH was working PT).
Turns out our short term disability covered maternity leave. The policy they had bought into covered 6 weeks at 66% pay. I felt that that was too short, and was was also able to take 1 week of vacation.
I would look to see if maternity leave is covered that way. Do you have any vacation time saved up? Can you use any of that? Talk to your doctor about what she/he feels is the needed recovery time. What does your employer offer if you are put on bedrest before baby is born? What if you need more time off because of a c-section or other complication?
Being the breadwinner and working for a small company is no easy task. I would start by talking to your doctor and see what they recommend, and then sit down w/ HR and tell them what your doctor is recommending and ask about insurance alternatives.
GL and let us know how it goes.
Mary, the way they're reacting to this is terrible and I'd be pissed. I would probably come back to them and offer 4 weeks paid and 4 weeks unpaid.
I don't know what type of law you do and what your interaction with clients is like. Would it be possible for you to bring the baby to work with you for a little while? Or to work from home?
If you're so valuable to them, then they shouldn't be willing to lose you over 4 weeks of unpaid leave.
Other people have had good suggestions. I'd also talk to you doctor and see if they could mandate you taking at least 6 weeks leave.
I really hope you can get them to be reasonable.
Ugh I'm so sorry Mary! I would suggest that you ask your doc to advocate for you to get 6 weeks paid due to the healing time necessary for after a birth and adjustment to a newborn and then negotiate for 4-6 weeks unpaid.
The whole thing is super sh**ty of them! I really hope you are able to find a workable solution you all can live with. Hugs!
Thanks Elena (elenaadrian) for my siggy!
Half to Whole
Mary - OMG I can't believe they are doing this. It seems so wrong!! I was looking up FMLA (Didn't know that it didn't apply to small companies) seriously, it should apply to any company. I mean come on!!
I agree with the other ladies I would try to negotiate and go in there knowing what you want...
Good luck! I don't have advice, since I have always worked for really large corporations, but hang in there.