Author Topic: How to stop the pressure to come back early?  (Read 4806 times)

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checkitnice

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How to stop the pressure to come back early?
« on: March 23, 2013, 06:39:26 PM »
So I am expecting #2 this fall.  I'm full time and am eligible for 12 weeks of mostly paid leave. Woohoo!

The issue is that if I take my full leave and dot deliver early, I'll be out for all of the holidays. Again, woo hoo!  However, my boss had been hinting that this was inconvenient. I made some very noncomittal remarks to the effect of "we'll see when we get closer," when I should have just bean dipped. NOW, we've hired a new clerk. She will be my backup for my time off. She also just had a baby five weeks before starting. So now that's all I hear from my boss. "Well new clerk only took five weeks!"  All the dingdangity time.

How do I politely shut this down?  I'd rather not go to HR right away.

Bellantara

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Re: How to stop the pressure to come back early?
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2013, 06:43:42 PM »
"It's great that new clerk only took five weeks, and that worked so well for her family. However, the best option for my family is to take the twelve weeks I have requested."

PastryGoddess

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Re: How to stop the pressure to come back early?
« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2013, 07:23:43 PM »
Ask her point blank if it is going to be a problem if you take the full 12 week maternity leave that you are legally entitled to. 
Other responses:
"I'm not coworker, so I'm not sure why you're bringing this up"
"Why are you mentioning that"
"I don't think I'm supposed to hear that information about co-worker"
"So you've said"


She may get the hint and knock it off.  If not you'll need to escalate


« Last Edit: March 23, 2013, 07:26:10 PM by PastryGoddess »

Kaypeep

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Re: How to stop the pressure to come back early?
« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2013, 07:24:07 PM »
I'd say to boss "Boss, I hear what you're saying  about how CW only took 5 weeks maternity so you are asking if I could to the same.  I wish that were the case with me, but it's not.  I need the full 12 weeks.  I"m even taking some of it without pay because my health is more important than money and I want to make sure I'm at my best when I return to work afterwards.  I'm doing everything I can to make sure CW is up to speed before I leave.  If there's anything else you need me to do, just let me know. But cutting my maternity leave short is not an option."

I'd even email this message to boss so that it's time and date stamped.

something.new.every.day

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Re: How to stop the pressure to come back early?
« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2013, 07:24:17 PM »
It sounds like the clerk was new and started five weeks after having a baby.  Maybe she needed to start generating some income, whereas you've been working all along and are in a better position with paid leave accrued. 

I would just keep it light and say, "Yeah, I know you'll miss me, but I plan to stay caught up/get x project done/cross-train Jane to do A and clerk to do B, etc.  Don't worry, the 12 weeks will go by fast and I'll do all I can to leave you all in good shape."

delabela

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Re: How to stop the pressure to come back early?
« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2013, 12:33:30 AM »
Honestly, I just wouldn't respond.  I think you're in a no-win situation.  If all Boss is doing is hinting, even strongly, she can cast you as being too sensitive if you ask her to stop.  So bean dip, bean dip, bean dip. 

If she asks you straight out to come back early, then just give a straight-forward answer - no. 

Danika

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Re: How to stop the pressure to come back early?
« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2013, 07:48:30 AM »
Congrats on your pregnancy.

I agree with the PPs. Aside from all that, you don't have a crystal ball. If your last delivery went well, that doesn't mean this one will. I hope all goes well and you are healthy and recover quickly. But pregnancies are rarely by the book. You don't know what kind of health situation you'll be in. You might not be up and around after 12 weeks. I hope you are, but it's ridiculous of your boss to think that you can have a baby on the due date and that everything will go according to a schedule.

I agree with the PP who said to put it in writing/email. You can start each one with "as I told you the last time you asked..." and just copy and paste the last email. Eventually, you might have to go to HR.

peaches

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Re: How to stop the pressure to come back early?
« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2013, 09:11:23 AM »
It sounds like the clerk was new and started five weeks after having a baby.  Maybe she needed to start generating some income, whereas you've been working all along and are in a better position with paid leave accrued. 

I would just keep it light and say, "Yeah, I know you'll miss me, but I plan to stay caught up/get x project done/cross-train Jane to do A and clerk to do B, etc.  Don't worry, the 12 weeks will go by fast and I'll do all I can to leave you all in good shape."

POD

My advice would be to stick to your guns, and keep things on a positive note.

I hope everything goes well for you and baby!

 



Rohanna

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Re: How to stop the pressure to come back early?
« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2013, 09:34:16 AM »
Remind her that she's luck you aren't in Canada? I'm just starting back on Monday after 10 *months* paid off, never mind weeks. Reminding her that your entitled leave is the shortest in the Western world might point out, politely, that asking you to come back early if you don't feel up to it is egregiously unfair.

Honestly, at 5 weeks with my first, my episiotomy wasn't even healed. Where I live, I would need a note from my Dr to return to work before 6 weeks, and I would have to prove it was an extreme hardship to myself and my job. I believe an MP needed one once to go vote in an important issue- and even that had tongues wagging mildly. 6 weeks is considered minimum healing time!  You need at *least* that long normally to make sure you are not having any post-partum complications.

I am sorry, OP, for somewhat hi-jacking with a rant, but I am very upset on your part that you are being asked to cut short what I consider to be an inhumanly short maternity leave period. Please take the whole thing and let yourself heal and bond with your babe :)
My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And well change the world. ~ Jack Layton.

Deetee

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Re: How to stop the pressure to come back early?
« Reply #9 on: March 24, 2013, 10:23:55 AM »
The clerk is new, so it sounds like she was not on leave, but was unemployed which is different. The leave is a benefit that you are fully entitled too and that you have EARNED. Just like a salary or insurance or a company car.

I would be direct. "Boss, this is a benefit offered by the company that i plan to take advantage of, just like pensions and holidays. I will be taking the full leave that the company offers. If you have a problem with the benefit and compensation plan please talk to HR."


That might be a bit strong, but you might be able to get your point across if you ask him if he plans to take his ENTIRE pension when he retires.

FoxPaws

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Re: How to stop the pressure to come back early?
« Reply #10 on: March 24, 2013, 11:19:58 AM »
"Well new clerk only took five weeks!"  All the dingdangity time.

"I know! I feel so bad for her having to rush back to work so soon. It makes me really grateful I have enough leave accumulated to take three months. I don't know how she's doing it, but I'm certainly glad I won't have to."
I am so a lady. And if you say I'm not, I'll slug you. - Cindy Brady

JenJay

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Re: How to stop the pressure to come back early?
« Reply #11 on: March 24, 2013, 11:24:11 AM »
"Well new clerk only took five weeks!"  All the dingdangity time.

"I know! I feel so bad for her having to rush back to work so soon. It makes me really grateful I have enough leave accumulated to take three months. I don't know how she's doing it, but I'm certainly glad I won't have to."

I like that!

Depending on the vibe in your office I might also get tense and say "I'm not comfortable discussing my personal medical information, but suffice it to say I will need 12 weeks." She won't know what the heck you're implying but the tone and nature of the implication ought to shut her down.

CookieChica

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Re: How to stop the pressure to come back early?
« Reply #12 on: March 24, 2013, 06:09:10 PM »
I know I'm treading the line here but contact HR and let them know. If your employer has more than 50 employees and you are in the US, 12 weeks is a legal right. Your supervisor is in the line of being guilty of discrimination and could be opening your company up to a lawsuit in the future. I'm not saying you will or should sue but someone else could and HR needs to know. This supervisor needs to be educated for their own good.

Kiara

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Re: How to stop the pressure to come back early?
« Reply #13 on: March 25, 2013, 09:58:59 AM »
I'd use the Toots special.  Every time she brings it up, say "I will be taking the full 12 weeks."  Period, and that's all you say.  It's none of her business why.  If she continues to harass you over it (and yes, I'd call repeatedly saying 'Well X took 5 weeks' harassment), then go to HR.  Because CookieChica is right.  I'd give supervisor the chance to back off first, though.

siamesecat2965

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Re: How to stop the pressure to come back early?
« Reply #14 on: March 25, 2013, 10:33:19 AM »
I'd use the Toots special.  Every time she brings it up, say "I will be taking the full 12 weeks."  Period, and that's all you say.  It's none of her business why.  If she continues to harass you over it (and yes, I'd call repeatedly saying 'Well X took 5 weeks' harassment), then go to HR.  Because CookieChica is right.  I'd give supervisor the chance to back off first, though.

POD. It really isn't ANY of her business whether or not you take your full leave you're entitled to. And she shouldn't be bugging you about coming back "early" It's like any other medical or disability leave; its none of their business what your issues are, just simply that you will be out for x weeks on medical leave.