It’s that time of my pregnancy that I’m thinking about what happens after baby is born regarding work – when I should start my maternity leave, how long I’ll be gone, how pumping will work when I come back, etc.
And so I begin to read the HR policies regarding FMLA. Seriously, America? I’ve now deemed FMLA to stand for Frack Mothers’ Leave in America. Because it’s dismal reading. Sorry if you run out of vacation and/or sick time. You won’t get paid after that. And once you’re in unpaid status, guess what? You get to pay your health care premiums, not your employer. And I’m supposed to be grateful that my job is preserved for up to 12 weeks. This is the type of thing that makes me want to move to a family-friendly European country or Canada.
I know I should be grateful that I have a job that continues to give me benefits for even part of my leave, but when I calculate how much money I will lose by taking my full leave, in addition to the money I will have to pay to my employer to continue to receive health care benefits, I just get mad. And to top it all off? When I come back from my maternity leave, all of my sick time will be gone and doesn’t reset until September 2015. So if I or one of my kids gets sick from January until September, I will have to use vacation time to care for them (or myself). And once that vacation time is gone? Good luck.
And don’t even get me started about the inequality of parental leave benefits for faculty vs. staff. It’s amazing how cushy faculty have it when it comes to parental leave. I’m not saying their benefits should be taken away, but that their much-enhanced options should be given to staff, too.
I jokingly told another staff person on campus that we should start a revolution and her first suggestion was that we should elect more women to public office. Hillary, are you listening? When are you officially throwing your hat into the race for POTUS?