12 answers

On FMLA and Looking to Resign My Job

Hi Moms,

I just had my third baby and am considering my options regarding my job.

I am planning to resign from my job or ask for an extended leave after my FMLA. Prior to resigning, do I need to return to fulltime work for a some time (if so, how long?) before resigning so that my health benefits (during the FMLA time) are not retroactively revoked? Has anyone bee through this? What are the things I need to be aware before for doing this?

Also, any ideas on how to propose the extended leave?


What can I do next?

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This is a great message board to find out what you can and can't do legally.


1 mom found this helpful

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This is a great message board to find out what you can and can't do legally.


1 mom found this helpful

I just went thru this at the beginning of this year. I was on FMLA beginning in September of last year going thru the end of the year because of vacation time I had. About 4 weeks before my leave was up I told them that I would not be returning at the beginning of the year.

As far as insurance goes I did not have to return to work to avoid being retroactively revoked. I had paid for the insurance during my leave so I don't think they could have done anything. If you do leave, COBRA is expensive so try to have some other insurance lined up so you don't have to go with COBRA. If you do take the COBRA coverage it will be effective from your last day, the day you resigned, not the day you went on FMLA. Of course until you actually pay the COBRA fees you will have to pay out of pocket for any doc visits and they will reimburse you once you have enrolled.

Also with insurance coverage...At my company you had to notify them within 45 days if you were making any change/additions to your coverage (in this case adding a child). If you didn't notify them within that time frame you had to wait to enroll them during annual enrollment and then that insurance coverage still wouldn't begin until January of the following year. My brother had forgot about this with his company and didn't enroll his daughter in time. He had to go find her a seperate health insurance policy for a year until he could add her to his.

An earlier post said this also but I think if you extend your leave your company no longer has the legal right to hold a job for you. While on FMLA they have to hold a job for you, not necessarily what you were doing but something. If you extend the leave they no longer have to accomodate you so they can then effectively terminate you. If you have been with your company awhile and have a good relationship with them they might be nice and work with you but you never know.

I am not sure if this is an FMLA related rule or a rule pertaining to individual companies. You need to find out the facts from your HR dept. Here I think it's 30 days that you have to come back b/4 you quit but I've heard 3 months at other places.

Good luck!

I did not extend my leave I just took the 3 months but I did go back for 2 weeks before resigning my position. It is my understanding that they do not have to hold your job longer than the 3 months but you can ask for an extension. Although, without medical reasons for the extension they do not have to hold your job for you. At my company I did have to go back even if just for a few days so that I would not owe money when I left the company (as you stated, for healthcare paid while I was on leave). I mostly went back out of courtesy because eventually I will go back to work and I wanted to leave on good terms and to show that although I loved my job my family was more important at this time. It worked out very well and now I have a job whenever I want to return. Congrats on becoming a stay at home mom. It is something very special that I wish all mom's had the opportunity to do.

I went back temporarially. All my healthcare had been covered cause I had been paying the premiums but my daughters had not. I had to add her to my insurance when I got back and then they "backdated" the premiums for her in my checks so that all her doctors bills would be covered. But most companies will let you add her to your insurance right away so as long as you have paid all your premiums and the hospital/doctor has submitted everything you should be ok. . .! Let us know how it goes and good luck!

This was in 2003, but I took a total of 6 months extended family leave after I had my first daughter...that was the maximum amount of time allowed for maternity extended leave at the time. I did NOT tell my employer that I was not planning on returning, though I was good friends with some of my bosses and they new I was toying with the idea of staying home with the baby permanently. They billed me for my premiums and stock purchases while I was on leave, so everything remained in place. I was covered under my husband's health insurance, so that part didn't matter. About a month before I was to go back to work, I went in and gave my two week's notice. They all expected it and all was good. I just signed some papers and that was it. At that point, any insurance and stock purchases stopped since I was no longer an employee. You will have to check what the current law is, but it is a Federally mandated law, so there are certain things your employer will be required to do. However, I don't know if they are required to approve extended leave for six months and your job is not guaranteed after 12 weeks. They have to give you at least 6 weeks for maternity leave...after that you will have to check out the laws for extended family leave...and, at least in '03, not every state gave the same amount of time for maternity extended leave...I got lucky being in CA at the time and they were one of the states that gave the most time! Your human resources department should have all the info on FMLA...or you can check it out at http://www.dol.gov/esa/whd/fmla/

Good luck!!

I was wondering if you have any health benefits after resigning your job. If not, you should check out www.mybenefitsplus.com/40495070 These are really great benefits starting as low as $11.95.

Check your employee handbook - it should state it. Normally, it's a return to work for 30 days, although that could vary. And as an fyi, they can't revoke your insurance, what they do is require you to pay the full premium. So, let's say you took your 12 weeks (3 months), during that time you continued to pay your portion of your health insurance premium (whatever you normally pay per paycheck, etc. - usually 25, 50, or 75%, or maybe the company paid for your insurance in full). If you decide not to go back, you will effectively go on COBRA starting from the first day of your maternity leave, so you now owe the full premium for the 3 months you were gone. If you elect not to go on COBRA, then your insurance is terminated as of that first date you went on leave and any claims you may have had during that period will remain unpaid.

Your company will have a policy about the length of time you must return - it is almost always in the handbook. If you want to transition to stay at home, it might be worth your while to contact your boss, discuss what you want to do, and talk about arranging for your returning during that month at maybe 3/4 capacity with the intent of training someone for your job, etc.

I would be hesitant to ask for an extension of time, as this could negate your protection under FMLA which only grants the 12 weeks. Good luck!

As far as your benefits, as long as you are paying the premiums while you are out on FMLA, the date will not be retroactive to when you left. You will continue to have your insurance as long as you are an employee and still pay for those premiums (until you resign or they terminate your employment). Then you would be able to elect COBRA.

Here's the Dept of Labor website that you may want to look at.


As far as asking for an extended leave, that pretty much depends on the company.

I hope I helped some.

I went through this as well as a friend of mine. You do not need to return to work if you are certain you will resign. Qualifications for FMLA are based on what you worked prior to your leave. Many moms take FMLA and realize they can not return to work. Now, that being said, I went through this 7 years ago, you may want to look up and call someone that is knowledgable about the current standards before making a decision.

Hi S.,
I am not sure about your questions, but just wondering if you had an HR dept at your place of employment. I know that some companies don't have one, but mine was extremely helpful when I had those type questions and always gave me an answer that was correct. Just an idea.

I had this question too when I wanted to stay home after FMLA and maternity leave. I worked for a large company in Lewisville that had fantasic insurance. I searched and searched for info. I finally came across something on the internet under leagal stuff that said they could make you pay it back. So I returned to work for 30 days and then gave my 2 week notice. I wanted to be sure there was not a problem. So I would suggest going back to work full-time with plans on leaving, but don't tell a sole. Give your 2 weeks after your 30 days. It will go by so fast and you will be so happy to do your job because you know that last day is around the corner.

Good luck,

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