Wife's new job, pregnancy leave

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cbr shadow
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Wife's new job, pregnancy leave

Post by cbr shadow »

My wife and I live in Silicon Valley and have tech jobs at large tech companies. My wife was laid off a few months ago and has been interviewing like CRAZY since then. It's a weird time right now in her industry because of COVID19, so at a few companies she got to the final round and then was told that they've received notice that the company is on a temporary hiring freeze. That ended up being (36) interviews with (14)She did end up receiving a couple offers, and took what looks to be the very best. We're in a good position financially, but she makes a very good salary so I'm glad that she was so persistent with interviewing and landed on a good offer. She starts later this month.

So she's also 4.5 months pregnant with our first. This was not mentioned in the interviews, and we're both wondering what the ideal time to mention it is. Of course we're aware that it's illegal to discriminate against women for being pregnant (or to even ask if she's pregnant or planning) but didn't mention it in the interview process for fear of it turning off the hiring managers. She's not due until around Thanksgiving, and is completely remote so she's able to hide the belly through video conference calls. I've read online that you should tell an employer about the pregnancy by the time you're showing, but this is of course a unique situation because of COVID19 and her just starting the job, working remotely 100%, etc.

Her company has extremely good maternity benefits which she does qualify for: 6 months paid leave. She's hoping to take 3 months rather than the full 6 though, since she'll be somewhat new to the team.

So when (and how?) should she tell her boss/company that she's pregnant? Should she wait a month or so before telling them so that she can really dive in and show immediate value before telling, or tell them right away?

I anticipate (and have already gotten, from family!) responses that range from:
"I can't believe you didn't tell them right away in the interview"
to
"By law you don't have to tell them until you want the time off, and they can't get rid of you".
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8foot7
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Re: Wife's new job, pregnancy leave

Post by 8foot7 »

I think this should come up during your wife's first week on the job, and ideally by the first day. "By the way, in case you couldn't tell from the video, I'm pregnant, and we are due xx/xx so I want to let you know about that so we can factor it into planning." If she starts on a Monday and hasn't had this conversation by Friday, something is wrong.

For the benefit of future readers: I may very well be in the minority but if I were the hiring manager, I'd feel a little bit like you were trying to pull one over on me. Not entirely. But if I am being honest I would feel like I've extended a lot of trust and budget out to you, you've not proven anything to me me other than not disclosing a significant event that will impact me. Of course I could never ask as a manager about this nor could I let it obviously factor into my hiring decision. I know all of that is illegal. But I also think expecting a three-month or six-month paid leave within weeks of joining my company is a big deal and the fact that you didn't mention this to me proactively at all during our interview process would make me treat you with less trust. This is not an ideal position to be in at the start of one's unemployment.

In the case of OP, it's too late to do anything other than be as forthright and transparent as possible. But I would also caution against taking the full six months paid as well. Or at least trying to take it all at once. First impressions are impossible to reverse, and here again from the manager's perspective, you've joined me on July 20 and then a few weeks later I have to contend with your absence for half a year. Great, so I've hired someone and have to train them and then they're leaving until May 2021. If you came to me and said you wanted to figure out a way to take leave and also be valuable, however, that would be much, much better from my point of view.

Yes, I'm sure I'll get berated by some who will tell me I shouldn't feel this way, or that COVID and remote makes everything OK, or that women have a hard enough time in the workforce without having to navigate these types of unarticulated expectations. And that's probably all true. But it's still the way I feel.
Last edited by 8foot7 on Mon Jul 13, 2020 1:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
egrets
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Re: Wife's new job, pregnancy leave

Post by egrets »

If I were her, I'd build up some experience with the team and then mention it and say she was only planning on taking two weeks off. You could take parental leave instead of her, right? Taking three months off that close to hiring seems unfair to the employer and the team.

I do agree that if she had mentioned three months in the interviews she would not have been hired.
oldfatguy
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Re: Wife's new job, pregnancy leave

Post by oldfatguy »

cbr shadow wrote: Mon Jul 13, 2020 12:37 pm
Her company has extremely good maternity benefits which she does qualify for: 6 months paid leave.
I assume you are sure about that (her eligibility)? Many companies have a waiting period of 6 months or a year, but it sounds like that is not the case here.

I think 2 months notice would be more than enough for planning purposes, but at this point she could really tell them any time, since she has already been hired.
RocketShipTech
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Re: Wife's new job, pregnancy leave

Post by RocketShipTech »

egrets wrote: Mon Jul 13, 2020 12:53 pm If I were her, I'd build up some experience with the team and then mention it and say she was only planning on taking two weeks off. You could take parental leave instead of her, right? Taking three months off that close to hiring seems unfair to the employer and the team.

I do agree that if she had mentioned three months in the interviews she would not have been hired.
Two weeks off for a new mother? Clearly you have never had a child.
RocketShipTech
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Re: Wife's new job, pregnancy leave

Post by RocketShipTech »

OP, have your wife take the full six months as she is entitled to.

Worst thing that happens is she delays her career progression by six months.
oldfatguy
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Re: Wife's new job, pregnancy leave

Post by oldfatguy »

Why would anyone take less time than the company policy provides? To me, that would be like saying, "I know you offer healthcare, but I prefer to pay for it myself, since I haven't been here long enough to deserve it."
Topic Author
cbr shadow
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Re: Wife's new job, pregnancy leave

Post by cbr shadow »

Well, I mentioned we've gotten a wide variety of advice/opinions up to this point, and this thread displays that pretty well :-)

To clear up what sounds like some confusion about her only being able to work "for a few weeks" before leaving, she's due in 15 weeks, which will be 14 weeks after starting her job.

Just taking 2 weeks isn't going to happen. I appreciate the differing point of view, but yikes that would be rough.

I'm certain about her being eligible for the benefits immediately. California actually has a law that says employers must give 12 weeks unpaid leave, but her company goes way beyond this.

Losing some trust with her employer is the main concern, of course, and she doesn't want to leave a bad impression, but some of that is unavoidable. I'm glad to see that the general consensus is that if she had told the employer before being hired that she was pregnant that she would likely not have gotten a job offer. The interview process was rigorous though, and as part of that process she had to do presentations and a project, which left a very good first impression.
cncm
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Re: Wife's new job, pregnancy leave

Post by cncm »

6 months leave in the context of a hopefully long career at the new company is nothing. I’m sure when the company hired her, they did so because she was the most qualified based on her merits. I would take the full 6months - you’re never going to get back those precious first months with your newborn and seems like she’s a competitive enough candidate she can get a new job if there’s retaliation (which would be illegal).
Priam
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Re: Wife's new job, pregnancy leave

Post by Priam »

It’s hard to say really but I think the best option is to bite the bullet and tell the manager as soon as possible. You’re right though about the current employment environment and there really is no way to know how the company will react to it.
Pomegranate
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Re: Wife's new job, pregnancy leave

Post by Pomegranate »

cbr shadow wrote: Mon Jul 13, 2020 12:37 pm and has been interviewing like CRAZY since then... That ended up being (36) interviews with (14)She did end up receiving a couple offers, and took what looks to be the very best. We're in a good position financially...

So she's also 4.5 months pregnant with our first.
Why just not to take some time off:confused :oops:
To keep up with Jones's :shock: :?:
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SmileyFace
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Re: Wife's new job, pregnancy leave

Post by SmileyFace »

She should tell her employer right away - it's the right thing to do. The company is generous in the amount of leave they provide, she should be generous in giving as much advance notice as possible for planning purposes.
Last edited by SmileyFace on Mon Jul 13, 2020 2:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Pomegranate
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Re: Wife's new job, pregnancy leave

Post by Pomegranate »

RocketShipTech wrote: Mon Jul 13, 2020 12:55 pm
egrets wrote: Mon Jul 13, 2020 12:53 pm If I were her, I'd build up some experience with the team and then mention it and say she was only planning on taking two weeks off. You could take parental leave instead of her, right? Taking three months off that close to hiring seems unfair to the employer and the team.

I do agree that if she had mentioned three months in the interviews she would not have been hired.
Two weeks off for a new mother? Clearly you have never had a child.
Some people send babies to a daycare starting from this age. Plus nanny when baby is at home. Plus mental meds to handle the stress :annoyed
You know, career is way more important then family for some folks :oops: Or they need to keep up with Jones's :sharebeer
armeliusc
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Re: Wife's new job, pregnancy leave

Post by armeliusc »

cncm wrote: Mon Jul 13, 2020 1:34 pm 6 months leave in the context of a hopefully long career at the new company is nothing. I’m sure when the company hired her, they did so because she was the most qualified based on her merits. I would take the full 6months - you’re never going to get back those precious first months with your newborn and seems like she’s a competitive enough candidate she can get a new job if there’s retaliation (which would be illegal).
This. I would tell them immediately, i.e. within the first week, for planning purposes, but if she is really eligible then take the whole 6 month. Benefit is there to be had. If they don't want new employee to take 6 month maternity leave right away, then probably the policy should have included a waiting period. And I also agree, over the long term, this should be negligible. In fact, if her manager has issue with something as common as this, that'd be a flag for me.
RocketShipTech
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Re: Wife's new job, pregnancy leave

Post by RocketShipTech »

Pomegranate wrote: Mon Jul 13, 2020 2:28 pm
RocketShipTech wrote: Mon Jul 13, 2020 12:55 pm
egrets wrote: Mon Jul 13, 2020 12:53 pm If I were her, I'd build up some experience with the team and then mention it and say she was only planning on taking two weeks off. You could take parental leave instead of her, right? Taking three months off that close to hiring seems unfair to the employer and the team.

I do agree that if she had mentioned three months in the interviews she would not have been hired.
Two weeks off for a new mother? Clearly you have never had a child.
Some people send babies to a daycare starting from this age. Plus nanny when baby is at home. Plus mental meds to handle the stress :annoyed
You know, career is way more important then family for some folks :oops: Or they need to keep up with Jones's :sharebeer
Why even have kids then?
index245
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Re: Wife's new job, pregnancy leave

Post by index245 »

RocketShipTech wrote: Mon Jul 13, 2020 2:58 pm
Pomegranate wrote: Mon Jul 13, 2020 2:28 pm
RocketShipTech wrote: Mon Jul 13, 2020 12:55 pm
egrets wrote: Mon Jul 13, 2020 12:53 pm If I were her, I'd build up some experience with the team and then mention it and say she was only planning on taking two weeks off. You could take parental leave instead of her, right? Taking three months off that close to hiring seems unfair to the employer and the team.

I do agree that if she had mentioned three months in the interviews she would not have been hired.
Two weeks off for a new mother? Clearly you have never had a child.
Some people send babies to a daycare starting from this age. Plus nanny when baby is at home. Plus mental meds to handle the stress :annoyed
You know, career is way more important then family for some folks :oops: Or they need to keep up with Jones's :sharebeer
Why even have kids then?
Hmm...I live in the LA area, plenty of working moms at large (and small) companies. I've never heard of a mom take only two weeks, we know many many families with kids (us included). Maternity leave is usually between 6 weeks and 6 months, probably a median of 3 months. The state provides short term disability for up to 4 weeks before and 6 weeks after delivery.

I think it was fine to not disclose before taking the job. It is a personal matter, not of their concern before they hire her. Now she should let them know.
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slow n steady
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Re: Wife's new job, pregnancy leave

Post by slow n steady »

If she want to go back, that’s fine, but only do it if she really wants to.

Or she could tell them 6 months and come back after 5.

Personally, I would take all of the benefits offered to me.
livesoft
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Re: Wife's new job, pregnancy leave

Post by livesoft »

I have hired at different times women who were pregnant as well as women who became pregnant. It never was a problem for me or my employer. All the women came back to work after their children were born and moved up through the ranks, too.

My impression way back when is that pregnancies were never announced until the mom and unborn were doing well and there was little chance of miscarriage. Indeed, it was considered bad to announce even to friends and family before the fifth month.

I don't know what holds true now though. Also many new hires go through a probationary period that allows dismissal for essentially no reason. However, hiring someone is a real PITA: advertising, finding a good match, interviews, and so on. Most places would not want to do that again without good cause.
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ICMoney
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Re: Wife's new job, pregnancy leave

Post by ICMoney »

I was 100% remote for most of my pregnancies and disclosed between 20-25 weeks. Therefore I don't fault her at all for not disclosing during the hiring process. I think disclosing soon after she starts would be a good plan though since she is far enough along and as it may determine which projects she is put on. I would also advise taking the maximum amount of leave offered, really I would advise any woman to take the maximum amount offered though not only for her and her family's good, but to advance the cause for broader, more generous paid parental leave policies in the US.

Best, ICM
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Kenkat
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Re: Wife's new job, pregnancy leave

Post by Kenkat »

Your wife could have started a new job not pregnant and gotten pregnant right after she started. Would that have made things different? How long should a woman wait after starting a job before she becomes pregnant? Is a year ok? Two? Five?

When you look at it this way, it’s only a few months out of the full length of employment. I think most companies understand that women have babies and that needs to be and should be accommodated.

I would tell the new employer promptly that she is pregnant and then be open to any suggestions they might have to minimize disruptions. Maybe she could work part time after a month or two (if ready) or call in to a team meeting every week after a few weeks off just to stay in the loop. They may say don’t worry about any of these things, but at least she offered and I think that demonstrates that she’s willing to make it work to everyone’s benefit.
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ICMoney
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Re: Wife's new job, pregnancy leave

Post by ICMoney »

Kenkat wrote: Mon Jul 13, 2020 3:58 pm I would tell the new employer promptly that she is pregnant and then be open to any suggestions they might have to minimize disruptions. Maybe she could work part time after a month or two (if ready) or call in to a team meeting every week after a few weeks off just to stay in the loop. They may say don’t worry about any of these things, but at least she offered and I think that demonstrates that she’s willing to make it work to everyone’s benefit.
Note this may not be legal under the terms of the postpartum disability leave she is entitled to. I had HR at one employer be very clear that it was not ok for anyone on maternity leave to work (check emails, call into team calls) *at all* as there was legal liability for them having a "disabled" employee working. (many maternity leave benefits run through a short term disability policy at the start, so the new mom is considered completely disabled for the first 6-8 weeks after birth) So I personally would not offer any of this, even if the manager thinks it is ok, HR/legal may have a different view.

Best, ICM
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Kenkat
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Re: Wife's new job, pregnancy leave

Post by Kenkat »

ICMoney wrote: Mon Jul 13, 2020 4:08 pm
Kenkat wrote: Mon Jul 13, 2020 3:58 pm I would tell the new employer promptly that she is pregnant and then be open to any suggestions they might have to minimize disruptions. Maybe she could work part time after a month or two (if ready) or call in to a team meeting every week after a few weeks off just to stay in the loop. They may say don’t worry about any of these things, but at least she offered and I think that demonstrates that she’s willing to make it work to everyone’s benefit.
Note this may not be legal under the terms of the postpartum disability leave she is entitled to. I had HR at one employer be very clear that it was not ok for anyone on maternity leave to work (check emails, call into team calls) *at all* as there was legal liability for them having a "disabled" employee working. (many maternity leave benefits run through a short term disability policy at the start, so the new mom is considered completely disabled for the first 6-8 weeks after birth) So I personally would not offer any of this, even if the manager thinks it is ok, HR/legal may have a different view.

Best, ICM
Yes, I guess that might be a possibility. I don’t see a lot of downside to offering and being told HR says no, however.
getthatmarshmallow
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Re: Wife's new job, pregnancy leave

Post by getthatmarshmallow »

I'd disclose it whenever she feels ready, but sooner is better just for planning, and absolutely do not offer to give up maternity leave out of some misperceived obligation to the employer. Take what you need. It's good to not to leave people in the lurch, of course, but there aren't a whole lot of jobs where giving someone 15 weeks notice of impending time off is an insurmountable problem (and she'd know if she were in that kind of career.) My sister started a megacorp job at seven months pregnant, took leave, and works there productively three years later. Good people are worth keeping.
tjf9
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Re: Wife's new job, pregnancy leave

Post by tjf9 »

She was not obligated to disclose before hiring, nor should she have. If her manager doesn't "trust" her because she didn't disclose he's naive and perhaps inexperienced at management.

She should tell her employer now that she has started. She needs to give them time to plan for her absence.

She should take the full 6 months and not offer to work during the time off. The reaction to her announcement that she's pregnant and taking 6 months will be a good indicator of the culture. If they give her a hard time about it, they aren't really serious about giving women 6 months of leave. Like another poster said, if they didn't want a new hire being able to use that benefit, they would have put a waiting period on it.

Congratulations!
egrets
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Re: Wife's new job, pregnancy leave

Post by egrets »

ICMoney wrote: Mon Jul 13, 2020 3:57 pm really I would advise any woman to take the maximum amount offered though not only for her and her family's good, but to advance the cause for broader, more generous paid parental leave policies in the US.

Best, ICM
I disagree with that. We're already at 130-140% of the planet's carrying capacity for humans. The last thing we need to do is encourage having more children. Benefits for the first two, but then no extra benefits and things like tax penalties for more than two.

When I was a young women professional, I can't think of any of my friends who took more than a month in leave due to childbirth, not because of "keeping up with the jones" salary (thankfully I had no friends with that attitude towards money), but out of responsibility.
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JoeRetire
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Re: Wife's new job, pregnancy leave

Post by JoeRetire »

cbr shadow wrote: Mon Jul 13, 2020 12:37 pm Her company has extremely good maternity benefits which she does qualify for: 6 months paid leave. She's hoping to take 3 months rather than the full 6 though, since she'll be somewhat new to the team.

So when (and how?) should she tell her boss/company that she's pregnant? Should she wait a month or so before telling them so that she can really dive in and show immediate value before telling, or tell them right away?
She should tell them during the onboarding process when she starts later this month.

That way, both she and the company can be best prepared when she takes her leave. I'm assuming she plans to return after her leave and wants a good career there.
Losing some trust with her employer is the main concern, of course, and she doesn't want to leave a bad impression, but some of that is unavoidable.
Yup. Frankly it was avoidable, but it's too late for that now. It may indeed leave a bad impression.

Deal with what is, rather than what could have been. Her best route now is to give the company as much time as possible to find a way to deal with her absence.
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MOlifant
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Re: Wife's new job, pregnancy leave

Post by MOlifant »

IMO, she should tell them as soon as possible. Being a working mom is HARD, and understanding how the new company looks upon her pregnancy and status as a mother is an important data point that should inform whether or not she wants to work there. If the company takes it poorly, then she can cut her losses early and get back into the job pool, where it seems that she is in high demand.
My point here is that pregnancy, while temporary, hopefully leads to motherhood -- and those who are not supportive of a pregnancy are unlikely to be supportive of a mother. Best to know this in advance so she can avoid.
Also, a caution that your baby may be on a different schedule than you are. Babies can and do come early!
Good luck.
Mr.Chlorine
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Re: Wife's new job, pregnancy leave

Post by Mr.Chlorine »

A company with as generous of a maternity leave as her's should be just as understanding. Seeing how family life is written into their HR policies (they go above what the state requires) your wife should tell them whenever she is comfortable. I would suggest sooner than later to make sure the news comes from her and not somewhere else.
oldfatguy
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Re: Wife's new job, pregnancy leave

Post by oldfatguy »

egrets wrote: Tue Jul 14, 2020 3:00 am
When I was a young women professional, I can't think of any of my friends who took more than a month in leave due to childbirth, not because of "keeping up with the jones" salary (thankfully I had no friends with that attitude towards money), but out of responsibility.
Responsibility to whom? Your employer?

When my child was born, I took every single hour of leave afforded to me through FMLA (12 weeks). If others want to take less leave time, that's their choice, but don't paint it as an act of "responsibility."
nydoc
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Re: Wife's new job, pregnancy leave

Post by nydoc »

Take full leave. No one is forcing the company to grant 6 months leave. If they have the policy that means they can afford it easily and use this to attract talent and that is you.
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Re: Wife's new job, pregnancy leave

Post by stoptothink »

MOlifant wrote: Tue Jul 14, 2020 7:15 am Being a working mom is HARD, and understanding how the new company looks upon her pregnancy and status as a mother is an important data point that should inform whether or not she wants to work there. If the company takes it poorly, then she can cut her losses early and get back into the job pool, where it seems that she is in high demand.
My point here is that pregnancy, while temporary, hopefully leads to motherhood -- and those who are not supportive of a pregnancy are unlikely to be supportive of a mother. Best to know this in advance so she can avoid.
Also, a caution that your baby may be on a different schedule than you are. Babies can and do come early!
Good luck.
Supportive of motherhood how? My wife has worked (by choice) since my son was 4 weeks old, what considerations should her employer be taking because she (and countless other employees) are mothers? What about fatherhood? I handle most of the "parenting" and household stuff because my wife has also been a full-time student the last 4yrs; should my employer be making considerations because I have a lot of responsibilities taking care of my two young kids?

I can tell you with absolute certainty that if my wife's employer gave her special considerations because she was a mother, she would be insulted.
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mmmodem
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Re: Wife's new job, pregnancy leave

Post by mmmodem »

The best time to notify would've been at the interview. But I agree with what your wife did. Disclosing the pregnancy would've significantly decreased her chances of being hired.

Now that we're here, I would not disclose until your wife has established herself in her new position. This can take up to 3 months.

Are you absolutely sure she gets 6 months? Even FMLA benefits require 12 months employment to qualify. I would double check the paperwork first. I would take the maximum allowed but I would space it out over the course of a year. Take a month off after birth and then take a week here and there or take every Friday off. The latter is what I chose to do when my children were born to use my earned paid leave and to continue to do my work.
Coltrane75
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Re: Wife's new job, pregnancy leave

Post by Coltrane75 »

cbr shadow wrote: Mon Jul 13, 2020 12:37 pm My wife and I live in Silicon Valley and have tech jobs at large tech companies. My wife was laid off a few months ago and has been interviewing like CRAZY since then. It's a weird time right now in her industry because of COVID19, so at a few companies she got to the final round and then was told that they've received notice that the company is on a temporary hiring freeze. That ended up being (36) interviews with (14)She did end up receiving a couple offers, and took what looks to be the very best. We're in a good position financially, but she makes a very good salary so I'm glad that she was so persistent with interviewing and landed on a good offer. She starts later this month.

….
She really isn't going to have any control over how the employer is going to respond to the information so she might as well just be direct and quickly tell them.

I'm no expert on legal matters so wouldn't make any assumptions there; many employers have a legion of attorneys to help them workaround employment laws. They have a massive advantage over you and can be very ruthless. Don't assume because there are laws on the books that you're all good.

Keep your fingers crossed and hope for the best.
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Re: Wife's new job, pregnancy leave

Post by lthenderson »

Kenkat wrote: Mon Jul 13, 2020 3:58 pm I would tell the new employer promptly that she is pregnant and then be open to any suggestions they might have to minimize disruptions. Maybe she could work part time after a month or two (if ready) or call in to a team meeting every week after a few weeks off just to stay in the loop. They may say don’t worry about any of these things, but at least she offered and I think that demonstrates that she’s willing to make it work to everyone’s benefit.
+1 This would be my take on the situation, especially in current days where working from home is much much more common.
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8foot7
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Re: Wife's new job, pregnancy leave

Post by 8foot7 »

mmmodem wrote: Tue Jul 14, 2020 8:31 am

Now that we're here, I would not disclose until your wife has established herself in her new position. This can take up to 3 months.

Generally FMLA requires a 30 day notice of a foreseeable event requiring leave. There is no argument that her delivery wasn't foreseeable, and there is almost no chance the six-month paid maternity leave is not an FMLA event at this company. Your suggestion would have the OP's wife wait until as few as a couple of weeks prior to delivery (babies do not always operate on schedule) to provide notice, which would generally be against FMLA notice regulation, could result in up to a month of the paid leave being disallowed due to notice requirements (see link below), and would look really bad to just about everybody involved in the situation. Granted, much of this is up to the employer's discretion and its normal policies and workflows, but I really don't think it's advisable to wait until what may be a couple of weeks before you expect to be out for six months before letting your employer know.

https://www.dol.gov/sites/dolgov/files/ ... dfs28e.pdf
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mmmodem
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Re: Wife's new job, pregnancy leave

Post by mmmodem »

8foot7 wrote: Tue Jul 14, 2020 9:04 am
mmmodem wrote: Tue Jul 14, 2020 8:31 am

Now that we're here, I would not disclose until your wife has established herself in her new position. This can take up to 3 months.

Generally FMLA requires a 30 day notice of a foreseeable event requiring leave. There is no argument that her delivery wasn't foreseeable, and there is almost no chance the six-month paid maternity leave is not an FMLA event at this company. Your suggestion would have the OP's wife wait until as few as a couple of weeks prior to delivery (babies do not always operate on schedule) to provide notice, which would generally be against FMLA notice regulation, could result in up to a month of the paid leave being disallowed due to notice requirements (see link below), and would look really bad to just about everybody involved in the situation. Granted, much of this is up to the employer's discretion and its normal policies and workflows, but I really don't think it's advisable to wait until what may be a couple of weeks before you expect to be out for six months before letting your employer know.

https://www.dol.gov/sites/dolgov/files/ ... dfs28e.pdf
According to this, one must have been employed for 12 months by the employer in order to qualify FMLA.
https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/fmla/final-rule/faq
It doesn't look like she qualifies for FMLA but I am not an expert. If she does qualify then yes, notify sooner to comply with this and or other benefits reequirements.
HomeStretch
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Re: Wife's new job, pregnancy leave

Post by HomeStretch »

Congratulations on the baby and your wife’s new job.

IMO it’s key to tell her new employer early about the future leave needed. Keep the conversation brief and not overly detailed. Perhaps meet with boss at the end of week 1 to have a debrief with boss over week 1 experience and to notify about the leave needed. This way the company will have a week to see her professional abilities in action without the “pregnant employee” designation. But only if your wife is reasonably confident the company will not discover it on their own. If your wife knows anyone who works there or provides professional services, or if she uses social media heavily, err on the side of telling the company sooner rather than later.

Whether she gets paid leave or not is not the main issue. She will be out of the office in xx months whether the leave is paid or not, or whether she is entitled to leave (even unpaid) or not under FMLA/company policy.

Edit - hopefully your wife is reading this thread.
bogledogle
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Re: Wife's new job, pregnancy leave

Post by bogledogle »

I would wait a month or so until your wife has a chance to meet everyone in the team and build a rapport with her manager. Also, your wife should take the full 6 months of leave.
bayview
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Location: WNC

Re: Wife's new job, pregnancy leave

Post by bayview »

egrets wrote: Tue Jul 14, 2020 3:00 am
ICMoney wrote: Mon Jul 13, 2020 3:57 pm really I would advise any woman to take the maximum amount offered though not only for her and her family's good, but to advance the cause for broader, more generous paid parental leave policies in the US.

Best, ICM
I disagree with that. We're already at 130-140% of the planet's carrying capacity for humans. The last thing we need to do is encourage having more children. Benefits for the first two, but then no extra benefits and things like tax penalties for more than two.

When I was a young women professional, I can't think of any of my friends who took more than a month in leave due to childbirth, not because of "keeping up with the jones" salary (thankfully I had no friends with that attitude towards money), but out of responsibility.
Yikes. I am suddenly flashing on women’s power suits with shoulder pads... I would not have thought of voluntarily minimizing maternity leave as “keeping up with the Joneses”; rather as a creepy “keeping up with the guys.” (sorry, sort of)

Look people, businesses need customers, and babies are future customers. I realize that modern business seems unable to look beyond the next 6-12 months in its business models, but this hostility towards childbirth and childrearing by business is archaic, sexist, and not very sensible for long-range business planning. Moms (AND dads) should be supported, both by employers and society at large, or we’re just committing slow suicide.
The continuous execution of a sound strategy gives you the benefit of the strategy. That's what it's all about. --Rick Ferri
lillypie
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Re: Wife's new job, pregnancy leave

Post by lillypie »

2 weeks? Obviously you have not had a baby. It is usually under disability for a reason. Forget the baby, Mommy needs recovery time too.

This thread interestingly points out how far we have to go with sexism and the disadvantage to women in the work place. Take ALL the time available, although I agree FLMA usually requires 12 months for the job protection. You can't get that time back with your newborn, but you can get a new job. Daddy should take all the time under FLMA also.
Ilikesparklers
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Re: Wife's new job, pregnancy leave

Post by Ilikesparklers »

egrets wrote: Tue Jul 14, 2020 3:00 am
ICMoney wrote: Mon Jul 13, 2020 3:57 pm really I would advise any woman to take the maximum amount offered though not only for her and her family's good, but to advance the cause for broader, more generous paid parental leave policies in the US.

Best, ICM
I disagree with that. We're already at 130-140% of the planet's carrying capacity for humans. The last thing we need to do is encourage having more children. Benefits for the first two, but then no extra benefits and things like tax penalties for more than two.

When I was a young women professional, I can't think of any of my friends who took more than a month in leave due to childbirth, not because of "keeping up with the jones" salary (thankfully I had no friends with that attitude towards money), but out of responsibility.
The world's population is forecasted to shrink by the end of the century, which could greatly impact the worldwide economy for the worse. Just yesterday it was in the news:
https://www.cnn.com/2020/07/14/world/wo ... index.html
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/14/worl ... rends.html
Mr-et-Mrs-R
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Re: Wife's new job, pregnancy leave

Post by Mr-et-Mrs-R »

While this is a great crowd for a lot of things, I think this question is much better suited to "Ask A Manger" https://www.askamanager.org/.

I do agree 1000% that your wife needs to have a talk with her new boss on day one to get off on the right foot.
beckwith
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Re: Wife's new job, pregnancy leave

Post by beckwith »

cbr shadow wrote: Mon Jul 13, 2020 12:37 pm
So when (and how?) should she tell her boss/company that she's pregnant? Should she wait a month or so before telling them so that she can really dive in and show immediate value before telling, or tell them right away?
So, my wife is actually in a very similar position, just about 6 weeks behind your wife (congrats, by the way!). She just started her job last week. She’s considering telling her supervisor somewhat soon. I encouraged her to be patient and not feel like she must tell him soon, but he and the team seem like a good group of people in a supportive environment. She will not qualify for their generous parental leave (your wife’s company’s policy is amazing!), so I’m not entirely sure what we will do, but we have time to figure that out. Fortunately, we are in a good place financially for her to take unpaid time. That women have to wrestle with this question at all is terrible - parental leave policies in so many other countries are so much better than in the US. I would strongly encourage your wife to take as much leave as is offered. This is your first child! Even if it were your second, or third, etc., bonding with your child, for you and your wife, should take priority over everything. Your wife clearly is capable of finding another job if it turns out her employer is not supportive of this major life event and she decides as a result that she does not want to work there. That this company has this policy and no waiting period to qualify should be reassuring. I think 10-12 weeks notice is plenty of time for providing notice.
Saving$
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Re: Wife's new job, pregnancy leave

Post by Saving$ »

The consensus seems to be
a. Confirmation that had your wife disclosed the pregnancy in the interview process she would probably not have gotten the job
and
b. that your wife should disclose as soon as possible after starting work, maybe even in the first week.

I'm going to disagree. She should delay disclosing until:
a. She determines and confirms what the company's probationary period is. This info is likely to be presented to her during on-boarding during the first week. If the probation period is 6 months, it will not affect when she discloses. If it is 30 days, she should not disclose until after the 30 day probationary period. All the same attitudes that would have prevented her from getting the job had she disclosed during the interviews could prevent her from making it through the probationary period if she discloses before that is over. Do not underestimate what people may do.

b. She determines and confirms whether she is eligible for the maternity leave. I know you believe she qualifies, but you will both be in a much better position to confirm that after she receives her on-boarding packet. If she qualifies for the full six months, it would be appropriate to disclose ASAP after the probationary period is over. If she does not qualify for paid leave and will only take 4 or so weeks, 8 weeks advance notice would be sufficient.

Given she is due in 15 weeks, and the probationary period is probably 30 days, this works out well.

Regardless of the company policy and the culture they want to have, and regardless of what many of us believe is the "correct" position, your wife's day to day and prospects for success in this new company will be most impacted by the culture of the group your wife works in, which will be influenced by her manager. After a few weeks, she will have a much better read on how the manager will react than she will during the first week, and that can also influence her strategy.
megabad
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Re: Wife's new job, pregnancy leave

Post by megabad »

Interesting question. Thanks for posting OP. Personally I would tell them sometime in the first few weeks if spouse feels comfortable. As you said, hopefully this will give a little bit of time for them to see how excited and dedicated she is as well as giving her time to see if she even likes the job. Honestly, I work for a decent sized company and HR would handle all this and as a manager, I could care less who is pregnant and when as long as I have a little time to plan. I normally expect to hear maybe 3-6 months into a pregnancy depending on how close I am to that employee but I wouldn’t be upset if it was later. I know people have uncertainty and may not want to broadcast early.

That said, my company would likely hire a replacement immediately. We just aren’t in a position where work would wait for 6 months. Obviously, everytime I have seen this happen, we have grown enough to keep everybody working when the employee comes back after leave anyway so no big deal. Just my personal thoughts. Also, to add to this, my company assigns exactly the same benefits to fathers as mothers, so we have this come up regularly with both men and women and it isn’t a big deal (to me at least). I treat it the same as vacation time—as long as you give me advance notice, no problem at all. This is only from a big corporate perspective though. I assume small businesses would work differently (and have different policies).
cogito
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Re: Wife's new job, pregnancy leave

Post by cogito »

I have been in this position twice (wife due about 3 months before "important" periods in my career). Both times, I took the approach of telling my manager "Hey, just so you know my wife is due in 3 months, I'm planning on taking a couple weeks to help right after the birth, I'll return shortly after to make sure all my responsibilities are on track, and then take the rest of the time sometime after then".

This may not be what you want to do with your paternity leave, but, for us, it was always well received by my managers, they appreciated that I was thinking about keeping my project on track, and nobody cared one bit when I took the second chunk of 6-10 weeks, usually around Christmas. A little bit of it was BS from myself, but the alternative is "I'm out for 10 weeks sucka, bye", so as far as I can tell it was never held against me or prevented promotions/raises.
Carl53
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Re: Wife's new job, pregnancy leave

Post by Carl53 »

DIL, newly minted attorney, took job with county court system earlier this year. Within weeks found out she was pregnant, apparently weeks or a month prior to hire date. Did not mention to employer until probationary period was over. HR tells her she is not eligible for paid leave and that unpaid leave may be limited and that there will be no pregnancy benefits, no FML. Seems quite discriminatory. DS has quite a bit of paternity leave available.
megabad
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Re: Wife's new job, pregnancy leave

Post by megabad »

Carl53 wrote: Thu Jul 16, 2020 6:11 am DIL, newly minted attorney, took job with county court system earlier this year. Within weeks found out she was pregnant, apparently weeks or a month prior to hire date. Did not mention to employer until probationary period was over. HR tells her she is not eligible for paid leave and that unpaid leave may be limited and that there will be no pregnancy benefits, no FML. Seems quite discriminatory. DS has quite a bit of paternity leave available.
Objectively, this seems consistent with many policies I have seen for local government workers (used to be one) and appears consistent with Federal law (there is a waiting period for FMLA I believe). Not legal advice and I'm not saying it is necessarily a good thing, but just stating I have seen it before and it is common. Of course, private sector benefits can be completely different (and are sometimes much more generous like OP's situation).
oldfatguy
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Re: Wife's new job, pregnancy leave

Post by oldfatguy »

Carl53 wrote: Thu Jul 16, 2020 6:11 am DIL, newly minted attorney, took job with county court system earlier this year. Within weeks found out she was pregnant, apparently weeks or a month prior to hire date. Did not mention to employer until probationary period was over. HR tells her she is not eligible for paid leave and that unpaid leave may be limited and that there will be no pregnancy benefits, no FML. Seems quite discriminatory. DS has quite a bit of paternity leave available.

https://www.dol.gov/sites/dolgov/files/ ... hdfs28.pdf

Only eligible employees are entitled to take FMLA leave. An eligible employee is one who:
• Works for a covered employer;
• Has worked for the employer for at least 12 months;
• Has at least 1,250 hours of service for the employer during the 12 month period immediately
preceding the leave*; and
• Works at a location where the employer has at least 50 employees within 75 miles
Topic Author
cbr shadow
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Re: Wife's new job, pregnancy leave

Post by cbr shadow »

Well the situation is now over, so I thought I'd post an update in case it's helpful to anyone who commented or someone who searches for this topic in the future.

My wife started her job and told her boss that she's pregnant at the end of her first day working. Her boss took it well, said congrats, and said that he will look into what benefits she's eligible for. He was very nice about the whole thing and left my wife with a really good impression of both him and the company. He even said that he knows it's probably a stressful conversation to have, but that the company is very family friendly, has lots of maternity benefits that she should take advantage of, etc.
He got back to her the next day saying that she's eligible for the full 6 months paid leave, plus some other very significant monetary benefits. Since that conversation he has set some goals for her to complete before she takes leave. Several of the executives that were involved with hiring her gave her a call to congratulate.

Overall it was a very positive experience and couldn't have gone better.

Thanks everyone for the help. If not for some of the suggestions on this thread she would have taken my initial advice and waited a month to 'get established' at the job which may have undermined the trust between my wife and her boss. Much appreciated.
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