Tuesday, April 29

Maternity leave and how you can get screwed

I could really go for some cupcakes right about now. Or maybe some cinnamon buns. Mhmmm.

It's pouring rain today, much like the pouring thoughts I'm drowning in. Choices, choices. At least they're giving me options, I guess ... bright side, bright side, think bright side.

Maternity leave: they are being a bitch.

Option 1: up to 12 weeks unpaid leave with benefits. I get to send them a check for the amount normally taken out of my paycheck every other week.

Option 2: they fire me. I'm not joking. This way, they explained, I could take more than three months and collect unemployment, but I'd have to pay COBRA meanwhile for health insurance. Taking more than three months sounds attractive, but the math certainly doesn't add up (I would net about $150/month with this option ... and I would have to lie about looking for a job because my work would hire me back). They can technically get away with this because they really are eliminating my job.

The thing that pisses me off the most is that I requested and verbally was given permission for the standard three-month leave many weeks ago, and they are putting this on me now, when I'm almost 35 weeks along. I knew that technically they could do this, but I thought they'd be a little more, uh, humane about the whole process. We definitely don't have this money, and I guess we'll take out more on Hubby's student loan to get through the summer. I'm just not willing to give up those first three months with Fetus. Hubby has already begun searching for a second job (more part-time work), which will make everything more difficult since he has filled his school schedule to more than overflowing for the summer.

As for eliminating my job, they gave me two options post-maternity leave. I can either work full-time in communications with two days a week from home (I asked for three) OR I can be contracted for one year to be a managing editor, which sounds great when I write it like that -- that's a promotion, after all -- but it's without benefits on a career track I'm not too keen on (and a host of smaller issues, like a difficult supervisor).

I haven't made any decisions yet, though I've talked with two different directors trying to push other options. Looking back to the bright side, at least I only have a month or so left and then no mas admin work!

Now can somebody get me a cupcake?!


Momma Val said...

This sucks. I think I'd opt for the managing editor position. It doesn't have to be forever and if you have another baby in the next few years you know what to expect. When you are ready or kids are in school perhaps you can try for a different position there or go elsewhere?

BerryBird said...

Would the managing editor position allow you to work from home more than 2 days a week? COBRA sucks. I have gone that route before, and also gone without insurance when I couldn't afford the COBRA premiums. Not with a babe, though. That sucks.

Electronic Goose said...

Yeah, the managing editor position would be almost entirely from home, other than meetings and PR stuff. The thing is, losing all my benefits would hurt and I wouldn't make more so I'd technically be making less --COBRA is so expensive! I've gone without before, too, but I can't do that now.

I still can't decide.

BlackenedBoy said...

I am so sorry that your work is giving you such a hard time. In a society where people had even the tiniest trace of compassion or concern for those around them, this wouldn't be happening.

In European countries, mothers can take off up to a year and their employers are legally required to hold their jobs and provide them with pay (though not always their full pay).

I hope that, pending the results of this next presidential election, some things in this country might change.