Maternity Leave and Job Benefits

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Deacon
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Maternity Leave and Job Benefits

Post by Deacon » Mon Jul 25, 2011 2:33 pm

Lizzegirle wrote:6 weeks is about how long they give you because that's how long it takes for your body to heal after delivery. Not because they want to give your family a good chance of success.
Well, yeah. I mean, the topic of what's good for the family is a broadly debated one and ferociously guarded as not up for discussion by the feminists except when it comes to telling other people how to actually raise their children, in which case they have no compunction about speaking their mind and getting the legislature to enforce it. If you're of the persuasion that you need longer, I don't know anyone who'll begrudge you that, only that it's up to your neighbors to fund that choice. Full time motherhood is not for everyone, but I think generally it's preferable for the mother to raise the child for the first few years, the father too, if they can swing it. But that's not always realistic either. Basically, some people are able to do different things with their long term schedule while others are not. If whatever path you choose is not feasible economically, I don't understand how you can say you have the right to demand that your neighbors give up part of their earnings and write you a check to fund that choice.

Note that I'm not even bothering to address baby factory hood rats in this whole discussion. That really is a separate discussion.

By the way, as much as you may disagree with him and his... "undiplomatic" phrasing, I don't doubt that CS22 really believes in the positions he's espousing, and I'm not sure it's fair to threaten to ban him because you disagree.
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Re: Maternity Leave and Job Benefits

Post by Andy » Mon Jul 25, 2011 3:12 pm

In Argentina, you get 45 days before delivery date and 45 after (paid 100% of your salary). You can take up til 15 days from the "before" period and take them off in the "after" period. However, this is not a benefit, it's a right, it's the law. (The law also covers other cases like students, who have the right to take the day off if the have an exam.) You can sue the company if you don't get the days. Mother also can have extra 30 mninute breaks for breast-feeding. They can ask for an extention of the maternity leave (up a whole year) but it won't be paid. Their job spot will be saved, though.
So yes, I think that fathers should get some sort of maternity leave as well.
Couldn't agree more.
Last edited by Andy on Mon Jul 25, 2011 3:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Maternity Leave and Job Benefits

Post by Roundtop » Mon Jul 25, 2011 3:37 pm

Ok, I had a post typed up but it got munched. So here is the short version of Canadian mat leave.

1) It is paid out from Employment Insurance, same as unemployment, which everyone pays into if you are working.
2) 55% of wages up to a certain max ($3k/month I think)
3) Mothers get 17 weeks after birth
4) Parents get 35 weeks during 1st year (to be taken by either/split out by both). This means a mother in effect gets a year of "maternity leave". or a father can take care of the child instead after the first 17 weeks.
5) Employers must hold the position for a year (temp can come in, but not full replacement)
6) once you have told the employer you are pregnant they cannot fire you to avoid you taking mat leave. (This is discriminatory and actionable in court)

I would have loved to have this for my wife when she had our kid, but because she was working in the US, she did not qualify for EI here, and her US employer (which has really good benefits normally) only gave her 6 weeks. She luckily had 6 weeks of vacation saved up and her employer allowed for a 3 month unpaid "leave" as well.

Still sucked donkey testicular matter.


Before I was a parent I didn't understand why mat leave mattered so much. It was a benefit I didn't get or see. As a parent it is extremely important.

As a side note: I live in a suburb of Vancouver, BC. I have a good job, as does my wife. We can't afford to own a house with real estate prices right now, and if only one of us was working it would be extremely tight (change "right now" to "never"). One of the big problems of living in a city is that the cost of living is frequently more than 1 income can handle, making the stay at home mom something which really isn't feasible. I'd love it to be the 60s, where you could buy a house for 3x annual salary, but here a crack-shack goes for half a mil, more than 8x annual salary, and you wouldn't want to live there.

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Maternity Leave and Job Benefits

Post by Deacon » Mon Jul 25, 2011 3:50 pm

You mean one of your specific incomes isn't enough to keep you at the standard of living to which you aspire. To make a blanket statement that no one can live on one income says an unintentional mouthful.
The follies which a man regrets the most in his life are those which he didn't commit when he had the opportunity. - Helen Rowland, A Guide to Men, 1922

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Re: Maternity Leave and Job Benefits

Post by Roundtop » Mon Jul 25, 2011 4:19 pm

One of the big problems of living in a city is that the cost of living is frequently more than 1 income can handle,
I did not make a fully blanket statement. I said in a city, frequently you need more than 1. This has been born out by many studies about wages, etc across the US and Canada.

Comparing average wages vs cost of living in many areas shows that to support a family 1 income is difficult. The rate of inflation on good such as food and housing has been significantly higher than wage increases for the last decade or two, so this is a reasonable statement.

But this is about mat leave, not about required income. getting back on topic, please research other countries that are developed (1st world) and have mat leave policies as bad as the US. Europe, South America, and others all have better mat leaves. Ask yourself why the US has such a low policy.

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Re: Maternity Leave and Job Benefits

Post by Greg Dean » Mon Jul 25, 2011 4:38 pm

I do feel it's worth re-mentioning the fact that maternity leave here in the U.S. is ALSO paid for out of Employment Insurance, so it's really not fair saying your neighbors are paying for your leave. The maximum amount of time you can get under maternity leave is 12 weeks for a C-section and 10 weeks for a vaginal delivery. This isn't "taxpayer funded", it's funded by the money that has been taken out of every paycheck you earn for god knows how long.

If you're just comparing it to how other countries treat it, then sure - most of those are tax-funded, clearly. But our system isn't. Unless I'm just being wildly naive by expecting that the money I pay out every month is there for me if I need it.

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Re: Maternity Leave and Job Benefits

Post by raptor9k » Mon Jul 25, 2011 4:58 pm

Another common option in the US is to take out a secondary short term disability policy. Any decent policy will usually cover at least 50% of your salary for 3 or more months and pregnancy is usually covered. I think my wife's policy is maybe $30 a month. My employer actually provides a policy for every employee as part of the benefits package. If you know you're trying for kids it's a good idea to start something like this.

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Re: Maternity Leave and Job Benefits

Post by thejerseyminx » Mon Jul 25, 2011 6:15 pm

Liz, you should be able to have your job held for 12 weeks under FMLA. It isn't paid leave, of course, but at least it is something.

I had no paid leave when I had Alannah. I was put on bed rest a week before I had her, and then was out of work for right around 6 weeks. Then two months later I had another major abdominal surgery and was out for another couple of weeks. The aid that I received to help with money a little bit was through TANF (temporary aid for needy families) and I only qualified for 3 months total. And that money is paid back through any child support I receive. Any money that is paid in by her father the state of MO takes a cut out of first. Not a lot each time, but I didn't receive a lot so it wouldn't take a long time to pay it off.
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Re: Maternity Leave and Job Benefits

Post by Elwin Ransom » Mon Jul 25, 2011 6:43 pm

Just wanted to pipe in with a bit of a correction on Greg's post that the money for Unemployment Insurance comes out the workers' paychecks. I'm not sure if this is a state-by-state case or a national thing, but at least in South Carolina, workers don't pay for unemployment benefits. That money is paid in entirely by the employer. I'm inclined to think that that's a national policy, since this is what Wiki has to say on the issue:
Unemployment insurance is a federal-state program jointly financed through federal and state employer payroll taxes (federal and state UI taxes).[20] Generally, employers must pay both state and federal unemployment taxes if:

(1) they pay wages to employees totaling $1,500 or more in any quarter of a calendar year; or,[20]
(2) they had at least one employee during any day of a week during 20 weeks in a calendar year, regardless of whether the weeks were consecutive. However, some state laws differ from the federal law.[20]
The distinction is important, because it still boils down to the employer paying an employee while they aren't working. No matter what the reason, mandating that for a business to do is an issue that needs to be considered long and hard. Everyone on this board, stop for a moment and think. You own a business and you have, let's say five employees. One of them gets pregnant. You now have to pay that person for six weeks, while also either losing their contribution or hiring someone to replace them. The person you hire as a replacement has to be cool with only being hired for six weeks. You also have to continue to pay unemployment insurance taxes on both the person on leave and the replacement. Now imagine that two employees get pregnant at the same time. Or three.

I like to think that if I ran a business (something I intend to do someday), I would be willing to make sure my employees could take the time they needed when they had a kid. At the same time, I know that there are situations- very real, very possible situations- where a single employee getting pregnant could put a small business very close to bankruptcy. I used to be a carpenter, and I saw several businesses shut down because some idiot employee didn't watch what he was doing and got hurt (employers pay disability/workman's comp benefits here, too). I'm not saying that mothers are equivalent to those injured workers intellectually, but (and I'm speaking strictly from the POV of an employer's accounts book here) they are every bit as much a financial liability.

Now, having said all that, two things more from the heart and less from the head: I am a man of faith, and I am very disappointed that businesses have to pay for maternity leave. The people of my faith should be the ones stepping in to give help to mothers who need it.

The second thing is more personally directed at Greg and Liz: Have your kids. God looks out for parents who care as much as y'all obviously do. My parents didn't have the benefit of maternity leave, and they had three of us. We had some lean, lean years- gravy biscuits three meals a day years, and when we ran out of milk we made the damned things with water. But we're all still alive, and all of us turned out okay. We even got a benefit; all of us know what it's like to live broke, and we can tell y'all this: it's not that bad.

I'm rambling, but what I'm trying to say is, I'm sorry you're in the situation you're in, and I'd like to help, and I'd rather do it as a fellow human being than as a taxpayer. And it's easy to say this, but don't be scared. You already love your kid, and that's infinitely more important than being able to give them a "good life," whatever that means.

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Re: Maternity Leave and Job Benefits

Post by Greg Dean » Mon Jul 25, 2011 7:08 pm

I actually don't see us in a bad situation, to be honest - 6-8 weeks leave is probably more than enough for us at the moment, and either way, we'd make due even if it weren't. We're resilient like that. This discussion really only arose 'cause CS22 decided to get a bug up his ass in the baby pool thread. :P

That said, If I'm wrong on where the money comes from, then I apologize for the misunderstanding.

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Re: Maternity Leave and Job Benefits

Post by Elwin Ransom » Mon Jul 25, 2011 7:20 pm

Whup, my mistake. Though since I seem to be in a mood to give unnecessary encouragement:

CS22, you can take that bug! You got this, buddy!

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Maternity Leave and Job Benefits

Post by Deacon » Mon Jul 25, 2011 7:23 pm

Well, to be fair I kind of assumed this discussion was more about concepts and thoughts on those concepts rather than a particular existing policy.

Paid maternity leave comes out of other people's pockets, and of course out of your own pocket as well as you contribute like everyone else. And to me even if it's paid 100% by corporations that's an intrinsic expense paid by the corporate body of which you are a part, and it doesn't make sense to say, "It's not me who pays but rather the organization of which I am a part." You can't really separate the two. There's no such thing as free money or money that appears out of nowhere. We all pay it every time we buy some product or service from any company.
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Re: Maternity Leave and Job Benefits

Post by Andyman » Mon Jul 25, 2011 8:17 pm

I'll start by confessing that there are a ton of words in this thread I did not read. At this point, I'm not going to argue one way or another on any particular point, just state what I think, and what I know from my experience. (My daughter just turned 2. At the time, I worked for a large engineering firm, my wife worked for Duke University).

I got 2 days paternity leave, and took another 3 days of PTO I accumulated over time. My wife had 6 weeks maternity at 60% pay. She took another 35 days PTO she had accumulated after that. One of the people she was forced to work with at that time requested she be forced to come back, or at least be available by phone and tele-commuting after 4 weeks. This was obviously denied, but I think it was due to FMLA. I may be mis-remembering and it was Duke policy, but I thought it was FMLA.

My wife was good to go after about 5 days. To be honest, I took the time because I wanted to be with them, not because I was needed. I think you will find that you will be surprised with how much you can accomplish in a short period of time.

I completely get the breast feeding concerns. Honestly, going back to work will probably be very emotional when the time comes, especially for the young lady.

All that being said, I tend to agree with it being a benefit. It is something to consider when taking a job. Unfortunately, not everyone gets to have great jobs that provide these things, but it is a choice we make when we accept a position somewhere. If no one filled the positions because of their maternity policy, or people left because of it, then perhaps that individual establishment will make a change.

I accept that this is ideal thinking.

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Maternity Leave and Job Benefits

Post by Lizzegirle » Mon Jul 25, 2011 11:29 pm

Elwin Ransom wrote:Just wanted to pipe in with a bit of a correction on Greg's post that the money for Unemployment Insurance comes out the workers' paychecks. I'm not sure if this is a state-by-state case or a national thing, but at least in South Carolina, workers don't pay for unemployment benefits. That money is paid in entirely by the employer. I'm inclined to think that that's a national policy,
I'm looking at my last paystub that says that I paid into the State Disability Fund, which is where I am sending my claim to get money while on maternity leave. It doesn't go through unemployment at all.

The disability fund is something that I have paid into since I started working at age 16 and have had the need to dip into it now 2 times. So I think I've probably put in my fair share in order to receive those benefits.

On the other hand, I've never taken unemployment -- even when I probably should have.

Research is your friend when it comes to topics like these.

I'm now going to leave this thread because I'm tired of people assuming that Greg and I are being irresponsible by having a child and wanting to have more time with said child after her birth. Like I said, we waited until the time was right for us. We're not stealing from our neighbors or our employers. Hell, we're not even on WIC or food stamps, like so many stay at home families are.

Also, my employer isn't out anything for me. I told her that after the baby was born and I come back to work, that I was going to look for a new job. So I helped her hire a replacement for me, and when I come back, she'll continue to pay me to work for her until I find something better. I also told her this 9 months ago because if I wasn't pregnant, I would have already been looking for a new job. Really, she got more from me than anyone can ask for an employee.

Deacon: I don't think it's your business about what I said to CS22. He has an agreement with Greg and he was getting very close to breaking that agreement. So I was warning him that he might want to watch what he was doing. Frankly, you should probably get an official warning for backseat moderating again, but I'm trying to be nice.

Anyway, please keep things on topic. I used Greg and myself as an example of a couple who can't afford to live off of one income because of a set of circumstances. If it weren't for my loans, we could probably do it, but that's not how life always works. We put more thought and effort into the decision of starting a family than most. (Ask around, we've been discussing it for about 5 years.) So try to leave us out of future posts regarding this subject.
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Maternity Leave and Job Benefits

Post by Lizzegirle » Mon Jul 25, 2011 11:35 pm

raptor9k wrote:Another common option in the US is to take out a secondary short term disability policy. Any decent policy will usually cover at least 50% of your salary for 3 or more months and pregnancy is usually covered. I think my wife's policy is maybe $30 a month. My employer actually provides a policy for every employee as part of the benefits package. If you know you're trying for kids it's a good idea to start something like this.
I've never even heard of anything like this. Where do you even go to get something like that? (Obviously it's too late for this baby, but it would be good to know for future babies if we have any.)
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