Not Eligible for Maternity Leave

[deleted account] ( 14 moms have responded )

Have you ever been told by your workplace that you were ineligible for maternity leave? If so, what did you do?


Amy - posted on 05/06/2012




This happened to me at my current job; when I was hired I was 5.5 months pregnant. (I was not showing yet, and I did not tell them I was pregnant until I was offered the job, but before I had accepted it...although that's a story for another post!)

They told me up front that I would not be on board long enough to be eligible. I met with my supervisor and a member of the Human Resources Department, and together we drafted a document that we all agreed upon. It was nothing out of the ordinary, just that I was able to take up to 8 weeks of unpaid leave (they recommended--off paper--I take less, as "the baby may require you to take additional days/time off", i.e. illess/childcare issues, and they "wouldn't be able to be as flexible" with me if I had used all of the 8 weeks), and that A job would be available to me upon my return. That's basically the same as the Federal maternity leave laws, in that you aren't entitled to return to your exact job, but only to a similar one.

As it played out, I took 6 and a half weeks of leave. The way the payroll system works, I received checks throughout my leave so I wasn't strapped financially (I'm also a single mom), it was just some lean times the first/second month after I returned to work.

Hoping I've answered your question...

Kirsty - posted on 04/23/2012




hi, im in australia n i was ineligible for paid maternity leave by 3 wks... noone is ineligible for unpaid. its against the law for them not to give u maternity leave unpaid up to 12mths... they must hold ur job for 12mths.. good luck

[deleted account]

Well I work for Shoe Carnival, and they have stores all over the US, so it's not a small company. My manager is not responsible for giving me time off, it's his boss' boss and the Human Resources office that's in charge of this. If my manager was able to, I think he would give me the time off and not worry about it when I was supposed to come back, but that's not his call to make.

Due to certain circumstances that have come up, I don't think I want to go back anyway. I'll find a different job (one that pays more than minimum wage) and maybe go back as a temporary during their peak sales times. Sounds good to me, lol.

Amy - posted on 05/08/2012




Monica- Yes the U.S. doesn't not really give Mothers (or Fathers) much time off- and you have to have those days saved up in order to get paid. It seems a bit backward to me. I can't say much I've been working for several years trying to build up enough to take 8-10 weeks off from work and get paid for it. Getting closer up to 7 weeks now

[deleted account]

I'm fine with unpaid leave, that's the main thing I don't understand. They won't be paying me while I'm gone, so I don't understand why they won't just let me take off a few weeks to recover (I recovered in two weeks from my first, had her vaginally with no complications and I was up and walking just fine a couple days after she was born, just tired, lol). And no, my company doesn't offer Aflac, they have some other crappy insurance that I can't afford and doesn't pay for anything anyway. Maybe I can find a better job after this, haha.


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Monica - posted on 05/07/2012




I have been in a similar situation. I live in the US, and here the FMLA covers mostly 70% of jobs, however it talks about unpaid. I had to take sick leaves to be able to get 5 weeks of paid leave. My employer also offer Short term disability insurance that may cover up to 6 weeks (actually only 5 weeks) of the portion of the salary you got the insurance for. I did it for 90% of my salary.
I must say that I regret not taking the full 12 weeks. It was very hard to go back to work. My baby is just 12 weeks right now, I am tired all the time and haven't been able to put 100% in everything I do. My mother is here helping me a lot, and my husband also helps. However, the recovery was very slow and I haven't feel I'm completely recovered yet. Of course, if you're tied with money, there is not the chance to take a decision.

I'm originally from Venezuela and there women have 4 months of paid maternity leave and 2 years of job security.

Mommy - posted on 05/07/2012




If you are working, you should be eligible for State Disability, and then FMLA comes after that, if you have been working full time for a certain period of time.

Amy - posted on 05/06/2012




Jaime have you sat down with your manager to discuss them holding your job without making you apply for family medical leave? I am a manager for a major retailer and have 6 associates that work for me one of them was pregnant when the store opened in July and she was due in October, like you she obviously didn't qualify but our employees only have to work every 90 days to stay active so I just didn't schedule her. I wasn't going to term her to rehire her in 6 weeks. Also like you she needed the money, she came back to work after 4 weeks with a doctors note clearing her for light duty.

None of my employers gave me paid maternity leave either but I was paid through short term disability and supplemented with my vacation time. If I were you I'd sit down with your store manager and see if she would just give you the time off. If they're really going to give you a hard time I agree look for another employer!

Sashell - posted on 04/25/2012




Hmm Fortunately I have never been in this situation. If your company is small then they do not have to offer unpaid maternity. I suggest finding another job once the baby is born :)

Lori - posted on 04/24/2012




Does your company not offer AFLAC? The last place I worked at didn't really offer maternity leave but you were able to get AFLAC after working with the company for 3 months, since we had less than 50 employees working for the company, we would be able to get some form of payment while we were out. The max time off you could get was 6 weeks for a vaginal birth and 8 weeks for a c-section.

I am currently on maternity leave from my company. I am actually not eligible for FMLA until tomorrow (April 25th) but my company pays for short and long term disability so I have been with the company long enough to get the short term leave so I will get some pay while out. I was supposed to be able to get FMLA since my original due date was May 17th but unforeseen circumstances happened and I delivered my son on April 7th (six weeks early). I am not guaranteed my job when my leave is up so I do have that to worry about.

[deleted account]

I was just asking if anyone else had this happen. I'm in the US and it's supposed to be unpaid leave, a maximum of six weeks. I've already read up on why I'm ineligible and I'm not too worried about it, but it may pose a problem later if I try to go back to work there.

In my area I've never heard of paid maternity leave unless you've been employed at a big company for like five years or something like that. But my workplace is just a nation-wide shoe store, with 14 employees in our particular store right now, including myself. Hence, it'd be unpaid anyway. What sucks, though, is that I have worked there before for a year and a half, took a year off after my daughter was born, and started back this past December. But I know I won't get it just based on not having worked there 1250 hours in the past twelve months.

Like I said, just wondering what other people did in this situation, not what I should do, since I already know what I can and can't do.

Kay - posted on 04/23/2012




Here is a quote on the FMLA eligibility requirements in the US. It's from

"In order to be eligible to take leave under the FMLA, an employee must
(1) work for a covered employer, (2) work 1,250 hours during the 12 months prior to the
start of leave, (3) work at a location where 50 or more employees work at that location or
within 75 miles of it, and (4) have worked for the employer for 12 months. The 12
months of employment are not required to be consecutive in order for the employee to
qualify for FMLA leave. The regulations clarify, however, that employment prior to a
continuous break in service of seven years or more need not be counted unless the break
in service is (1) due to an employee’s fulfillment of military obligations, or (2) governed
by a collective bargaining agreement or other written agreement."

Happy - posted on 04/23/2012




Where you are is very important. Different countries have different laws. If you are in the states you need to read and memorize the FMLA laws surrounding birth. That is your guide to matrnity leave in America. It may be, if you are in the states, that you are not eligiable under FMLA. There are strict guidleines that are a must for all employees, pregnant or not, should know!

Louise - posted on 04/23/2012




Where are you from? I know in the UK you have to work for so many months before an employer has to pay maternity leave, or leave your job open for you to return. There is nothing you can do about it, the law is on there side. It is to protect the small firms from having to pay out maternity leave when a woman has not been in the company very long.

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