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Maternity Leave and How It Might Affect Your Job

Savvy Confessions: Will My Job Be Affected If I Take Maternity Leave?

This reader posted in our anonymous Savvy Confessions group, asking how her job will be affected if she takes maternity leave. Do you have any advice for her?

I work in a very small office which includes myself, a nurse, an office assistant, and our program director. Before the holidays, the program director took on an additional position within the company, but at another clinic, which now has him out of our office about 50 percent of the time. At that time, there was one other person in the office with the same job as me, but she was fired a few weeks ago, so now, I fly solo a majority of the time until we can find someone to replace her. Two days before my six month review, I found out I am pregnant! My husband and I are SO EXCITED, and had planned on starting a family this year. Initially, when I interviewed for the position, I mentioned that my husband and I were hoping to begin a family soon as well. Now, I am terrified to tell my boss that I am pregnant! He is a really nice person, but saying that he does not handle stress well would be an understatement.

Read on for more.

Anyway, since I just had my six month review, my boss told me that he wants me to take on "more responsibility" and that this is a "great opportunity." I asked what kind of raise I would be getting for this additional responsibility, and he said, "Well, corporate doesn't give big raises. Maybe fifty cents or a dollar more an hour." That isn't even a 10 percent raise! So not only does he expect me to take on part of his job, my case load has increased since we lost the other woman. I'm not going to be compensated properly for it. Plus, I am going to have to tell him at some point that I am pregnant, and this place offers no maternity leave, and since the company's staff is fewer than 50 people, our employee manual says that if I need to take longer than two weeks off, they won't guarantee holding on to my job (FMLA does not apply)! I don't know what to do! I had an excellent review and I know that they can't fire me because I am pregnant, but I plan to take at least 10 weeks off with our baby after it arrives. I am so scared that my boss is not going to be supportive of this wonderful time in my life, and that he will basically freak out about it. I guess if I wasn't pregnant I'd say, "OK, well I'll see after I've been here a year what they are willing to offer me for my responsibilities." But we are now expecting a baby and I have to consider that. I don't think I am going to be given an opportunity to negotiate a raise; just take it or leave it. Someone please help me here!

Pose your own anonymous questions or off-load your work confessions by posting in the Savvy Confessions group, and I'll find the right expert to help you out.

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springfellow3 springfellow3 4 years
Hello, congratulations for the lil precious one to come. Thats a great gift from the Almighty. In whatever circumstance you find yourself, your lil precious one should be your top priority. On the understanding that your hubby can take care of the family, if your boss is an inflexible macho and is not willing to consider your case favourably then you have to forget about your boss altogether and as such, a radical decision is worthy for your lil precious one. But the best strategy would be perhaps to try to settle on some reasonable compromise, whose formula you shall settle with your boss. Then you can reach a midway position where both the organisation and yourself benefit from a fair win, without impacting on the lil precious one. That would be a more rational option if I may say so in your case. But bear in mind that irrespective of the outcome, your focus should always be your lil precious and then comes everything else in order of priority. You need to talk to hubby too, try to probe his opinion on this matter. You'll get a few options from which you will select, after considering the specificity of your situation. But in the worst case scenario, then you leave the job without any regret for the betterment of your lil precious one. Hope you do not have to reach to that extreme. For the first six months during your pregnancy, show and prove your boss your real worth without ever expecting anything in return. Then he will have an idea about your real worth. Then you try to reach some sort of compromise that would be beneficial to both your lil precious one and to your job, as far as it is reasonably practicable. All the the best for your lil precious one to come. Congratulations, and cheer up. Good luck SpringFellowHawk
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