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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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