Saturday, October 13, 2012

On My Mind: Family Leave

Due to some recent policy changes at my job, it's becoming increasingly apparent that if I chose to have another child, I will more than likely have to take at least some leave without pay. These changes are still very new, I'm not ready to spill any details (and I'm not sure if I'll ever be willing to spill those details here).  In true form, I have spent many late night sessions reading articles(here, here, and here), trying to sort out my thoughts on the issue.

I'm curious. Did you get paid maternity leave? Was it separate from your other paid leave, or were you required to take your PTO for your maternity leave?

In the Forbes article, it states, 

"My experience is that when faced with the choice between family and work, people will often choose family even if it means financial hardship. When someone quits without paid leave, especially a low wage worker, they are often forced to apply for public assistance which is paid by taxpayers. Wouldn’t it be better to contribute to universal paid leave that lasts six weeks, versus enrollment in public assistance that could go on much longer if the individual can’t find a new job?

Losing an employee is very expensive. Experts estimate it can cost anywhere from 50% of the wages of a low skilled employee to 200% of the salary of a professional staff person. Wouldn’t it be better to lose someone temporarily for six weeks, knowing they will come back, versus having a valuable employee quit because of caregiving pressures and replacing them? There is no guarantee the next person you hire—male or female—won’t experience caregiving challenges either."

If you're a stay at home parent, was family leave an issue that contributed to your decision to stay home?

I understand that this is a pretty delicate subject to discuss online. If you're more comfortable commenting by e-mail, feel free to send me an e-mail (my e-mail address is located under the Contact Me tab.)


  1. I decided to stay at home because 1. I really wanted to 2. my current job would cover child care cost but there would not be much extra so I didn't see the point of staying at work 3. was in grad school as well and knew I couldn't do everything.

  2. My employer offers paid leave, but only if you purchase the insurance that covers it which I had not done. Because of this I was forced to use my sick days to cover my 6 weeks. But I planned it well because I'm a teacher so I took 5 weeks unpaid and then had my 8 week unpaid summer off as well. At least this way baby girl was 3 months old before she had to start at daycare. We could and would make due with only 1 income but I carry the insurance for my family making it necessary that I continue to work... Good luck with your future decisions!

  3. When I had Lorelei, I used FMLA. I took the 8 weeks of leave (paid, but had to use all of my sick days up for it, so not really paid) and then a year unpaid, but with my job "secured" and the option to continue my health coverage at full cost (no thanks). Also, I would have had to start my tenure clock over once I came back. I ended up not going back after that, as you know. If I had been tenured, it would have worked a little differently, but not much (would have retained pre-leave tenure status with years of service, etc)