Have You Had a Baby Before 12 Months into Your Employment?

Updated on July 01, 2012
M.M. asks from Denver, CO
14 answers

...I mean before you qualify for maternity leave -- either you knew at the time of hiring that you were pregnant or you started on the job and learned soon after that you were pregnant?

I'm interested in learning how your employer handled it. I know someone who had to go back to work 2 weeks after she had a baby (because she only had two weeks of vacation) - is that what you had to do and how was it going back to work after 2 weeks?

Or did you have to leave the job once and get re-hired?

Or did you lose your job?

I am interested in hearing about your experience. Thank you!


Hi, maybe I AM confused. I thought employers weren't obligated to provide maternity leave (or employees don't qualify for FMLA) until the employee had worked for 12 months at the employer. Is it not the case? This is the reason I am asking the question.


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So What Happened?

Thank you for your responses! I am just changing jobs but I had a scare - I thought I may be pregnant but it turned out I was not.... It seems like if you need maternity leave before 1 year, based on the rule you're not entitled to FMLA, but it depends on the employer what you get. It is better to be careful and wait until it will be a year since start of the employment - but because of my age it is hard to wait.... It was nice to hear everybody's experiences. Thank you so much!

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answers from Chicago on

I agree with the other comments. She chose to go back to work because she wanted to get paid. I found out I was pregnant when I started and I had to take a day off befoe my 90 days, I just didn't get paid. I had 2 weeks of 100% pay and then 6 weeks of 50%. I just stayed in and used my money on bills. I wasn't going out so I didn't need gas or entertainment money. She should have planned her money better.

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answers from Washington DC on


The FMLA was drawn up and put into affect so that people's jobs would NOT be in jeopardy after a life changing event - birth, death, adoption.

In my opinion, your friend CHOSE to go back to work because she didn't save properly.

So you are about to start or have started your new job - that you heard gossip on and now you're pregnant and want to know what to expect? Or are you having second thoughts and want to go back to your old job?

Yes. I was pregnant with my son when I started a new job. They were happy for me. Did I lose my job? Nope. Did I leave the job and get re-hired? No. I didn't leave the job and get re-hired. I left the job to stay home with my son. Could I have been hired back? Yes. they asked me to come back about a year later.

I knew I was pregnant at my interview. They knew as well. You can't be fired because you are pregnant. If that's what you are worried about. They can fire you because of lack of attendance and poor work.

there is NO WAY on God's Green Earth would I go back after two weeks. Your body is still healing. Like I said - your friend went back after two weeks because she didn't plan properly. Check your benefits package - Long term and short term disability CAN apply to maternity leave.

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answers from St. Louis on

You are confusing two very different issues as being one, they are not. Your friend chose to come back after two weeks. Either she didn't plan well and save or whatever. Unless there were less than 50 employees she would have been able to take off 12 weeks though 10 would be unpaid.

My first two kids I took three months off, unpaid. My job was held. We just saved money before the kids were born. It is not like paid leave is your only time off so clearly your friend chose to come back.

Even my firm, which has paid leave, most choose to take leave unpaid at some point.

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answers from Missoula on

I transferred while I was pregnant. So when I had my DD, I didn't qualify for maternity leave. THEN I had some complications with my delivery, so I had to stay home for about 6 weeks longer than normal maternity leave would be considered.

My boss (store manager) told me that it was fine, and that he would hold my position.

Corporate wrote me a letter telling me that I could use up to the 4 weeks of (unpaid) sick/personal/vacation time I had accrued, but that was it. When I couldn't get back to work in time, I was terminated...

So when I was ready to work again, I just put in a new application to the same place, and was hired back right away. ;)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Jacksonville on

You are correct. Employers only have to offer FMLA if the employee has been with the company for at least 12 months (and if they have over 50 employees within 75 miles). FMLA provides for 12 weeks of unpaid leave.

Maternity leave is covered by short term disability. Once you qualify for benefits, you qualify for short term disability. I believe this is normally around 6 weeks...the amount you're paid generally depends on how long you've been with the company.

In my case, I got pregnant a month after starting my new job. I got 6 weeks short term disability, and my company let me take an additional 6 weeks off with no pay...even though I didn't qualify for FMLA due to the less than 12 months thing.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Charleston on

Maternity leave is short term disability. If your benefits are effective, probably so is short term disability.
I was able to take 12 weeks of FMLA, MINUS all available vacation time AND short term disability for a TOTAL of 12 weeks max.

Perhaps your friend was not there long enough to be receiving any other benefits than her 2 weeks paid vacation?

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I did in my first job. I got preganant almost as soon as I was hired.

I got 8 weeks because I had a c-section, but it was short-term disability because it was such a small company. I had to save 2 weeks of leave to use for the first two weeks, and then the short-term disability kicked in. I also had to go back for two weeks after the 8 so I could get a new job and not have to pay back the short-term disability.

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answers from Albuquerque on

Employers do not have to provide maternity leave (mine didn't when I had my kids). And employees qualify for FMLA only if they've worked 1250 hours for the same employer within the last 12 months.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Diego on

I got pregnant a few months after starting a new job. I one year anniversary with company was the end of Sept. and I had my son the end of Aug. My company didn't pay for my maternity leave but I took disability leave thru the state which helped. During this time I was able to keep my benefits and my job was waiting for me when I returned.

I took 8 wks disability leave because I had to have a c-section then I also took an additional 6 wks paid by the family leave act. Not sure if the family leave act is only a California thing but its worth checking into. You can go online under unemployment website for your state and get information on both of these programs.

Good Luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Atlanta on

I was given maternity leave and FLMA and I was only there about 8 months. I interviewed for the job and found out I got the job the day before I found out I was pregnant. When I found out, I contacted the company and told them in case they wanted to hire someone else (not realizing the laws against this). But when it came time for maternity leave I was given FMLA without problem.



answers from Boston on

You are correct. Those who wrote that she chose to go back to work don't understand FMLA. As you wrote, FMLA is only required for employees who have been on the job for 12 months and have worked 1250 hours during those 12 months, and the company has 50 or more employees. If those three criteria aren't met, the employer is under no obligation to hold a person's position open while he or she needs time off to care for a family member, including a newborn. An employee in this position who needs more time off than his or her accrued vacation and sick time could very well lose his or her job, even after having a baby.

In some states, there are more generous rules that take precedence over FMLA and many employers offer short-term disability to cover extended periods of health-related absence (like recovering from child birth) but it's up to the employer to decide how long the waiting period is for new employees to be eligible for those benefits.

When I had my first son, I was technically not eligible for FMLA as I had only been with my company as an employee for 8 months. However, I worked for a university contractor and had worked in the same place for 4 years as a student, so I had a strong relationship with my managers and peers and they were kind enough to give me 12 weeks of unpaid leave with my benefits continued during that time (I had to pay my insurance premiums so they just double-deducted me for 12 weeks leading up to my leave). When I came back, it was to a new position where I could work four 10-hour week days instead of the longer days with nights and weekends that I did prior to that. I was a single mom and very lucky that they took care of me.



answers from Topeka on

I was at my place of employment 5-6 months in when I became pregnant with my first I was begging morning sickness right around 6-8 weeks I did miss work when I called in sick I felt guilty for doing so.I quit I walked in gathered my things and told my boss I won't be returning back to work been home since 9 yrs later


answers from Iowa City on

My employer was under no obligation to provide maternity leave nor did he have to comply with FMLA (under 50 employees). However, I was granted two weeks paid leave plus any vacation accrued and then I was allowed to take off as many weeks as necessary. Prior to the birth I had spoken to my boss about cutting my hours down and working evenings and weekends rather than 8AM-4PM Monday through Friday. He was all for it. But then I worked in a very family oriented business.


answers from Chicago on

My first son was born 1 month early, so I wasn't at my job for 12 mos. I had to buy my own COBRA insurance because I did not qualify for FMLA. I took 6 unpaid weeks off and they held my job and position, as it was very training intensive and I was a quick learner. I stayed at that job (my first FT job out of college) for 4 yrs.

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