FMLA Question Maternity Leave?

Updated on November 26, 2009
S.S. asks from Covington, KY
8 answers

I have been put on bed rest due to PTL and I had to leave work on Oct 20th of this year. My baby isn't due until January 21st of 2010. This would be longer than 12 weeks consecutively of leave because I have to wait till the baby is 6 weeks old to put him in daycare. Because I left in 2009 for my FMLA leave will it restart for 2010? Is the 12 weeks of protect you receive 12 weeks for each year? I am very worried about this because I can't go back to work even if I wanted to and I don't want to lose my job because I ran out of FMLA. I know you get 30 days to find another position with the company but still who knows with this economy if I'll find one!

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answers from Canton on

Your human resources office should be able to answer this for you. You will undoubtably need a doctors note and then doctors clearence to return to work. You may need to consider this as short term disability as your leave is due to medical conditions incwhich case the rules may be more lienant.
Also your significant other may be able to apply for FMLA. My husband did and we were able to stretch our time home with her before day care.



answers from Cleveland on

I thought it was 12 weeks per rolling 12 months, regardless of the number of "events". Check with your HR department.



answers from Columbus on

The calendar for FMLA is rolling, meaning when you started your time is when you have 1 year. It will not start again at the beginning of new year. How much vacation/personal time do you have? Check with your HR department and see what short-term disability allows. It may give you the break you are needing without the worry of losing your job. You may also qualify for long-term disability depending on the number of weeks you are going to be off work and what your company has in place. Also, it is always best to keep your employer in the loop as to what is going on, they are more likely to work with you if they know everything that is happening. Best of luck to you and your family and I hope this helps a little bit.



answers from Bloomington on

you do not get 3 months per get 3 months per for your current leave you have a total of 3 months. As of 3 months and 1 day your company no longer has to guarantee you a position.

Have you talked to your company and explained the situation to them to see if they will work with you? Legally they only have to do 3 months. However, your company may be willing to be more flexible just out of good will.

I hope that everything goes well with your pregnancie.



answers from Cincinnati on

I am a former HR Manager. FMLA is available in a 12 month period (ie. you wouldn't have 12 weeks again until 1 year from your first leave) and you do have to complete 1250 hours of work in the 12 months that you request the leave.

If you need more than that, talk to your HR Manager or the person in your company that handles HR matters about what your Leave of Absence policy is. Also, do you currently purchase short term and long term disability insurance? If so, you will want to activate that and start getting reimbursed for your time off.



answers from Cleveland on

This is a question for your hr person. At my work FMLA is 12 weeks in a calendar year. However you may want to speak to your hr person also regarding your insurance. I don't know how your time off would affect your medical. You may have to go on short-term disability. Call them asap just to be sure. You do not want to lose your medical at this critical time and you do not want your newborn to be uncovered.



answers from Cleveland on

Hi S.,

Can you use any sick leave or personal leave to extend the 12 weeks? I hate to consider pregnancy a disability, but check to see if it is covered that way under your health plan...maybe you could get this time off as a temporary disability, and use the family leave later? Could you take this time off as "leave without pay" and use the family leave later?

Assuming your baby arrives on or near the due date, you'd still need a little time to recover from giving birth before you could go back to work. That's where your sick/personal leave days could come in handy.

Could baby's daddy take family leave at that point so you could go back to work? Yes, it would be tough if you were nursing but still doable (you could still nurse, and pump; or have daddy feed the baby formula and you nurse the baby; that worked for a friend of mine; or some combination).

Does your employer have a program where people donate sick leave to a "sick leave bank" so that folks who run out can use it? or would they let people donate leave to you? You could perhaps offer to repay it when you are able.

I've never heard the "30 days to find another position with the company" bit.

Sounds like you need to talk to the HR department, but hopefully I've given you a few ideas. Good luck! and congrats on the pregnancy!

K. Z.



answers from Fort Wayne on

You should try talking to your human resources department about long term disability and short term disability options. Many companies offer insurance for when you need to be off longer. Although FMLA may expire, this does not mean that your employer will not hold your position. I was off work for a little over 4 months with my second son. I spoke to my supervisor and kept her updated on my health, surgeries and recovery. You may be able to extend your return date. Since the difference is just a couple weeks, most companies would rather wait for you than hire someone else that has no experience and they will have to spend time and money on training.

Another option is asking if some of the work could be completed at home temporarily. You might be able to find a babysitter, friend or neighbor to help you out a few hours a day while you work. Since infants tend to sleep quite a bit in the beginning, you may be able to get more done than you think. You have to be organized though. Pump milk ahead of time, have meals ready for the day, and wait to wash bottles and dishes until your work schedule is done. I used to carry my little ones in a infant carrier on my chest to do dishes, errands, housework, etc.

Another option is asking if you can complete work on a flexible schedule at home between taking care of baby or when your partner is available to takeover. That might make the time of needing a sitter less.

Additionally, I do not think that you should limit yourself to returning to work just because you cannot enroll your child into daycare. There are multiple other options. If your work simply will not hold your job for another couple weeks, then try to find a nanny to come to your home. There are professional nanny services that can provide you with their certifications, work history and references. Obviously, we are all very careful with our newborns. You have the phone numbers of the prior families, so you can probably begin a rather casual conversation and receive answers to those "sticky questions" that recruiters could never get away with in the workplace. Although the nanny service may be more costly, it would be less costly for the long run if you are able to keep your job.

Also, if it's only for a couple weeks, you may be able to find another provider to watch baby for that time. In my area I call Early Childhood Alliance (EAC). They give referrals to babysitters and licenced providers in the area. They also have a website to obtain referrals. I think it's like a 24-48 hour turn around. They generally call you and then email or mail the information. Licensing agencies for daycare providers can generally direct you to the local service that provides referrals.

You might also check with local elementary schools and see if they have a bulletin board with locals that babysit. There are several schools in my area that allow those items to be posted in a commons area. My sons' school has a list of parents that want to carpool, and I call some of his friends if I need something really quickly.

You might also try contacting lactation consultants and the birthing center at your local hospitals. That is an area where there are a lot of new mothers probably in the same situation... needing a new babysitter in a very short amount of time. Even if you found someone waaaay across town, it would only be for 2 weeks until you could enroll baby in the daycare of your choice.

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