Sunday, September 26, 2010

Maternity Leave

I know I waited WAY to long to talk to my district about maternity leave.  My doctor has been asking me about what I plan on doing for maternity leave for the last few appointments now, and I have no idea.   Just dealing with a new job, a new marriage and the day-to-day woes of pregnancy are enough to make anyone crazy.  On Thursday, with the upcoming break looming, I decided it was definitely time to haul my ever growing arse to the district office.

What I found out was not horrible, but it wasn't exactly good either.  And it is incredible confusing.  It took the woman in HR about 20 minutes to explain it to me before I figured out what the hell she was talking about. 

I will get 6 weeks of maternity leave for a normal birth and 8 weeks leave for a C-section.  Pay for maternity leave only kicks in after sick days are used up.  However, these sick days, if taken after the baby is born, run concurrently with your maternity leave.  This means days taken prior to maternity leave don't count against your leave, but they can't be added on to your leave either. 
Right now, I have 16 sick days accrued, which roughly works out to about 3 weeks.  During the remaining 3-5 weeks, depending on the type of delivery, I qualify for something called differential pay.  This means, the pay for my sub comes out of my pay, and I get the difference.  Subs are paid $150/day unless they are given daily lesson plans and then they are paid $120 per day. 

FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act) allows for all employees to take up to 12 weeks, unpaid, for the birth of a child.  After my maternity leave is over, I can take the remainder of time (up to those 12 weeks) unpaid.

Confused yet?

This is what it means.  The good:
  • As long as the baby isn't born prior to winter break (starting December 18th) all of the leave options I have will more than cover the 10 weeks between when school starts up again in January and spring break in March.  Spring break is 2 weeks.  This means I won't be working full time until the baby is almost 3 months old!  Sweet.
The bad:
  • I'll be returning to work, no matter what happens, with 0 sick days.
  • In order to make the extra $30/day, I'm going to have to still be responsible for what happens in my classroom.  This means grading, planning and the like.  The sub will just be acting as a body to prevent students from shanking each other and to deliver assignments.
The so-so:
  • There is no benefit to me hanging out at work for as long as I can since my sick days, used prior to the birth, won't count against my maternity leave.
I had a mini-melt down when I got home from work.  Luckily, DH is still the best husband ever, and helped me realize that the worst parts of this deal will make life a little inconvenient.  DH agreed that he will save as much sick leave as he can to make sure that he can take time off with Bug if she needs anything between spring break and summer. 

The space between spring break and summer is only 9 weeks, thanks to our funky schedule.  Now I just have to figure out what to do with Bug for that time.  DH can cover some days, but he's the boss at his job and there isn't anyone to do his job if he isn't there.  I don't want to put Bug into daycare until she is 6 months old if I can avoid it, but we'll do what we have to do.

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