D.J. asks from Philadelphia, PA on January 12, 2007
Need Help with My Overbearing and Cheap Boss
I work for a very small company, only 10 people including my boss, and they do not have any type of maternity leave, but I still need some sort of income for the time I am on maternity leave. I am telling my boss about my pregancy next month and have created a proposal that would benefit the both of us. I am very nervous about it since sales have not been that great the past two months and I am not sure he will agree with what I am proposing to him. Plus he is very cheap and always has some sort of excuse for not giving us the salary we deserve. He does say to me that he values me as an employee and wants me to work with him fo the next 22 years, but I am not sure he will.
Here it is:
Due to the fact that Knox Refrigeration Inc. does not offer paid short-term disability or family leave, I would like to collect unemployment for 4 months along with accrued vacation and sick time. During that time I would be available for phone calls with any questions anyone has for me.
I would like to continue my employment with this organization, full time, after my four-month leave, from my home. Please read below an outline on how I believe that this may be accomplished.
Based on my daily duties, I believe that these can be performed seamlessly from my home. I would require Internet access to network, which I would contract through Comcast DSL, a separate phone line and an all in one printer/copier/fax machine. I will pay for the DSL & separate phone line out of my pocket.
I will also agree to come into the office once or twice a week, when needed, but would need time to make arrangements, to have someone watch my child, and if this cannot be accomplished then I would have to bring the baby into the office the days I am needed.
I would love some feedback on this. Thanks!
Y.Z. answers from Philadelphia on January 12, 2007
Unemployement means your boss would have to fire you, and once thats done, you really dont have much in your corner, because sorry, you dont work there anymore. Ask about some sort of short term disability that may be available to you. For everything else, sounds like you might have a plan, but in order for your boss to like the idea, he has to think he came up with it himself. I suggest making your announcement, and then asking him for a meeting, in which you can "brainstorm ideas so that you can continue to be an asset" to this company you love, etc etc. I wouldnt discuss working from home right away, and definitely wouldnt offer to pay for your own supplies right away. Just work through different options with your boss, and bring up the things you want subtly.
1 mom found this helpful
T.P. answers from Dover on January 12, 2007
Before becoming a stay at home mom, I was the manager/bookkeeper for a law firm. That said... if you wish to collect unemployment, your boss has to terminate your employment. Secondly, most states require you to be actively looking for a job in order to continue to receive unemployment.
I started working for the law firm when I was about 5 months pregnant. We hashed out the details before I ever started working there. It was understood that after I had the baby, I would return to work immediately, on the condition that I would be working from home. Needless to say, the baby was born on a Tuesday and Wednesday (while I was still in the hospital) they were calling and bugging me about payroll. Telling them it was OK to call me with questions was one of the first mistakes I made. They called nonstop, mostly for worthless stuff. I also went to the office a couple times a week, for a couple hours. I took the baby with me. While he was not a distraction initially, by the time he was 3-4 months old and 'jabbering' we started having problems. It ultimately ended very nastily. My boss demanded I put the baby in daycare effective the next day and return to work full time. I ended up quitting mainly because the baby was exclusively breastfed and I just wasn't willing to give up my time with him.
Hope that helps some!
L.B. answers from York on January 15, 2008
I know how that is. My boss is also ridiculously cheap as well. When I went on my maternity leave last January I only got 7 weeks and they were unpaid and I lost all my sick and vacation time. But on the upper hand I still had my position waiting for me. It sounds like a decent proposal to me, similar to the one I pitched to my employer. Unfortunately, if your boss is as cheap as mine,
He'll smile nod his head and say "Thanks for all your help but "ENJOY" your time home with the baby." All code for you stay home with no pay. Best of luck D.!
K.E. answers from Reading on January 15, 2007
I'm going to respond to this in two ways - first as the owner of a small company, and then as a mother.
I own a service company with 6 employees. Someone here said you are covered by FMLA, but you are NOT. Small companies with less than 50 employees are subject to completely different rules than larger companies. Do not rely on FMLA or you will be very disappointed.
Second, if I was a cheap and overbearing boss and received your proposal, I would probably be offended and appalled. First because he can not keep track of what you are doing at home while he's paying you to work and second because obviously your attention will be split between baby and job- if he's a cheapskate, why would he want to pay you the same amount as now for not as much work? (Playing devil's advocate here - I'm not saying you wouldn't work as much since I don't know you personally!) Also, I would expect you to pay for the DSL out of your pocket because it's in your home and surely you would use it for more than just work. As far as bringing baby to work, my answer would be "no way". Too much distraction, injuries would not be covered on liability insurance, extra noise, etc. The unemployment is a tricky issue - we as employers have to fill out a form as to WHY you have been laid off or terminated and if he fills in a maternity reason, you will not qualify (in Pennsylvania). If you are going to hand him this proposal, be prepared to address these issues.
Now, as a mother, I would say do not give him any proposal until you are about 6 months along. By then, sales may be better, circumstances all around may be different. Also, as another mother said, it is very tough to work from home with kids. You will be able to get things done while the baby sleeps, but other than that, until he's able to entertain himself in a safe area (play yard, etc), you probably won't get much done. Answering the phone is a special kind of hell because my kids ALWAYS started to cry the minute it rang. Then you have to figure out where your priorities lie - do you drop the call to cuddle the baby, or take care of the customer that you've committed to for your company? And heaven forbid that your boss call and you not take the call or the baby starts to cry during that call! It is not an easy situation. If you are in Pennsylvania, look into Title 20 subsidized daycare - they will pay someone a small amount to stay in your home with the baby while you work at home, or a traditional daycare setting, or with a relative, etc. if you go back to work, depending on your income level.
I wish you the very best in your pregnancy and in this situation,
N.R. answers from Pittsburgh on January 15, 2007
Congrats to you. I am also just 7 wks prego so it looks like we're in the same boat. You are covered under FMLA law. In a nutshell, they can't terminate your position in the company but they don't have to pay you. I realize that's your issue at hand. Perhaps they could to a "layoff" just so you could collect unemployment. I really hate when companies don't protect the employees.
Hang in there, and don't let it get you stressed.
K.B. answers from Pittsburgh on January 12, 2007
I think its a good solution for both of you. He may not go for the unemployment. Maybe if he doesnt go for that you could up the solution for after 6 weeks. See what he says and then throw it out there in case he doesnt want to do the unemployment route becuase he is still paying for the unemployment.Make sure to tell him to do it on a trial basis and if it doesnt work are you willing to go back to full time? He might need that reassurance. Since you are tellling him the proposal in advance maybe he can tell you what he thinks needs to be different and you two can compromise on it.
Like I said I think it is a great proposal. If you worked for me I would go for it. LOL Good Luck. Let us know how it goes!
C.C. answers from Philadelphia on January 12, 2007
sounds great but you cannot collect unemployment until you stop receiveing the vac and what not pay....and you should have no problems
D.N. answers from Pittsburgh on January 12, 2007
This is Diane's husband. It sounds as if you are in a tough spot. I am not an attorney and therefore cannot offer any sound legal advice, and we will not be held responsible for any possible outcome, good or bad, for any actions you may or may not take in response to this "simple advice".....That being said, I am a manager and there are a few things I would caution you against, and perhaps some actual advice I could provide as well. ;-)
First, make sure you understand the law in your state and are SURE there is no other way to stay employed and take leave. If you do decide to embark on this plan, it sounds very risky. If you try and collect unemployment, you are saying that you have no official employer -- that is, you will essentially be asking your boss to "temporarilly" lay you off. There's no guarantee he will ever re-hire you. Just understand the possible consequences. The next best thing is to get something in writing. This will at least give you a fighting chance in a court of law if it comes to that.
Second, it sounds as if your boss is strapped for time and money. You need to be brief and to the point. Write it up and send the deal to him in email. This will establish the "contract". No matter how informal this is, it is imperative to get a written record of this stuff, as this will hold up in court, where anything verbal will not.
Third, some thoughts on the content of your proposal. You have to be more explicit in what your asking him for: do you expect compensation for the calls at home? If not, say so. If you do, how much time? Similarilly, would you expect to be reimbursed when you get called into the office? Spell it out. Also, although it sounds nice to bring the baby into the office as service to your boss, consider that this would actually be a liability to him and the company, not to mention the overall distraction it would cause (in a 10 person company, this could be substantial).
The wife tells me I'm writing too much...
I hope everything works out for you!