Employers nowadays tend to improve their workers’ work-life balance and overall working conditions. That is why requests for flexible work schedule are becoming more popular. The number of companies with flexible work arrangements is growing, according to The Personnel Today. But what should you do if there is no flexibility in the workplace at your company? Don’t be afraid. We will tell you how to ask for flexible working hours without any risk to lose your job.
Giving birth to kids is a vital condition for our biological and economic survival. At the country level, economic growth behooves parents to bring out as many future employees and taxpayers as possible. Unfortunately, women still must make a choice between career and family due to the weak maternity leave laws in our country. Forbes states the USA can’t remain a global economic leader without providing paid family leave for citizens. Are there any ways to defend your rights and enjoy the happiness of parenthood? Let’s try to find out.
Zero Weeks of Paid Leave Under Federal Maternity Leave
Unlike laws protecting women’s rights in many developed European and Asian countries, maternity leave in the US doesn’t provide women with such standard policies that require to fund pregnancy leave. According to the Agriculture Department statistics, it usually costs more than $233,000 to raise a child from birth to age 18. Taking into consideration the amount of work required to raise the child—general care, nutrition, education, etc.—both parents can’t work and look after the child at a time. The biological realities of childbirth are that it is the mother who takes time off work and sacrifices her career to baby’s upbringing. Hence, family income is curtailed and doesn't recover fully for an extended period.
States with Paid Maternity Leave
California, New Jersey, and Rhode Island are three states that currently offer paid maternity and medical leave. Beginning on Jan. 1, New York is the fourth state to pass up to eight weeks of paid family leave. California maternity leave policy protects you more than anywhere else in the country. Pregnancy-related illnesses are considered disabilities by California law; thus, women have a right for disability insurance payments during the leave. In this respect, the definition of “disabled” is rather broad. It includes the loss of a child, postpartum depression, bed rest, gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, postnatal care, childbirth, prenatal care, etc.
FMLA Maternity Leave Regulations
The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a federal law that gives you the right to take up to 12 weeks off work per year for caring for a new child and due to other health reasons. It includes both maternity and paternity leaves and gives you the right to return to your work. FMLA leave is unpaid, but you can use your so-called sick leave to get paid for at least a short period of time. Read general FMLA rules and exceptions to check your possibility to apply.
You have to meet 3 essential requirements:
- you have worked in the company for at least a year
- the employer has at least 50 employees within a 75-mile radius
- you have worked at least 1,250 hours for your employer in the 12 months (about 24 hours per week)
The FMLA adoption policy applies to women who give the baby up for adoption right after the birth. In order to recover physically and mentally from the childbirth, a woman can stay at home for a certain period of time.
If You Are Disabled Due to Pregnancy
As a result of pregnancy, a new mother can face a wide variety of health issues such as hypertension, hemorrhage, diabetes, inflammatory disorders, etc. Check the SSA Disability Blue Book to know if you meet the requirements to apply for help. You are allowed to take 6 weeks maternity leave or prolong it up to 4 months with Pregnancy Disability Leave. There’s a chance to receive a short term disability insurance for maternity leave if already pregnant. Disability is among the reasons to take early maternity leave. Search the Internet for your state's disability insurance policies.
Discrimination and Harassment Are Strongly Prohibited
Can you get unemployed while on maternity leave? The thing is that your employer has no right to fire you because of pregnancy. When you return to work after maternity leave employers rights allow them to fire you only if you’d been a lousy employee before leaving. By the same token, potential maternity leave isn’t the reason to hire a male employee instead of female—it’s considered discrimination. New York Times recently brought to light examples of pregnancy discrimination in the largest US companies. Protect yourself and rely on The Pregnancy Discrimination Act, FMLA, The Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Have a Reserve of Days
Start saving up sick and vacation days. It will significantly extend your leave. Of course, it’s relevant for women who are just planning the pregnancy in a year or more, but not for those who are already pregnant.
How to Get Paid Maternity Leave and Other Questions You Need to Ask
Whether you are already employed or just searching for a new job, it’s wise to find out the company’s maternity leave policy.
Here are some questions to ask HR about maternity leave:
- What kind of paid and unpaid maternity leave is available?
- Am I covered by the Family and Medical Leave Act or any other state laws?
- What happens to my position while I am on maternity leave?
- What policies does our company have to support new parents?
- Are there minimum maternity leave or part time maternity leave available?
- What are other maternity leave options?
Try to find out as much information as possible. Average maternity leave lasts six weeks, but you may need more time because of postpartum depression or encountered complications. Ask if FMLA leave will run concurrently with the leave your company provides. To put it simply, ask if your employer allows you to take six paid weeks first and then an additional six unpaid under FLMA.
Work Distantly from Home
We already mentioned that children upbringing is a quite expensive deal today. You will probably need some extra sources of income to cope with bills and other household expenses. Request for work from home due to pregnancy if you feel you’re not able to work in the office or take some remote work after childbirth. Ask your husband, relatives or friends to present you a few hours per week to spend working alone (and relaxing a bit). Even a much smaller salary is better than nothing. In addition, you’ll keep up to date with all the latest news, new projects and advents in the company. Thus, it will increase your chances to go on working in the same position once your leave is over.
Form a Parent Professionals Group at Your Office
I’m sure you’re not the only parent in the company. Firstly, united attempts will raise the issues of working parents. Secondly, there’s a higher chance your complaints will be heard and applied accordingly. Co-workers will help you find the answer to the question of how to negotiate with your boss and support your attempts to take action.
Make Your Voice Heard Outside Your Workplace
Silence is a sign of acceptance. If you don’t accept the violation of women's rights, speak your mind. In a critical situation when your rights have been brutally abused—you got fired or received a refusal to go on family leave—let the media bring it to light. Reach local or nationwide newspapers and TV channels. Tell them your story.
5 Companies with Paid Maternity Leave for Birth and Adoption Parents
The biggest companies have gone above and beyond the standards regarding the leave and offer a considerable amount of time to enjoy the first year of a kid’s birth. What’s more, maternity leave for adoptive parents is provided almost on the same conditions as time off for pregnancy. US companies that offer paid maternity leave are listed below.
1. Amazon Family Policies
Amazon employment policy provides a unique “Leave Share” option and a flexible return-to-work program called “Ramp Back.” Almost a year is offered to bond with a new baby.
2. Netflix Family Plan
One of the Netflix career benefits is unlimited paid parental leave. A generous amount of time off is given to take care of a newborn. Employers receive maternity leave for adoption on the same basis. Parents never lose their job and come back to work once they feel they’re ready.
3. Google Maternity Leave
Google employee perks grant from 18 to 22 paid weeks to biological mothers and up to 12 weeks of maternity leave for adoption. New parents receive a cash gift for a baby.
4. Facebook Family Leave
Facebook employee benefits offer up to 4 months leave for new parents. It’s possible to split time throughout the year. In 2017, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg took 2 months of Facebook paternity leave himself.
“At Facebook, we offer four months of maternity and paternity leave because studies show that when working parents take time to be with their newborns, it's good for the entire family. And I'm pretty sure the office will still be standing when I get back.”- says Zuckerberg.
5. Family Leave at Microsoft
Microsoft is one of the best maternity leave companies. Birth mothers receive up to 20 weeks of paid maternity leave while foster and adoptive families get up to 12 weeks. Employers are also allowed to leave work to care for a seriously ill family member.
Sometimes, it is not enough to be an outstanding professional to build a successful career. Networking is important. And in order to socialize successfully in a business environment, one should know the rules of business etiquette. Therefore, if you want to earn respect at work and demonstrate perfect professionalism in the workplace, follow this list of good manners.
Volunteering has seen quite a jump in popularity in recent years. It seems like the people of today are becoming more and more aware of their own local problems and far-reaching worldwide problems and uses volunteering not only to explain their employment gaps. Volunteering is the commitment of one’s time and energy, for the better good of society and the community, the environment. You could say that you are giving back the community for all it has done for you. However, there are many benefits of volunteering that can be very valuable to you.
Ah, the age-old routine: you’ve found yourself unemployed, in need of a job, and wanting to not starve to death. Great! What do you do? How do you look for the next job? You might go to an online job board service, such as LinkedIn or Monster, and skim through all the hundreds of jobs. You might get out your newspaper and examine the job listings section. You might even attend a job fair.
But what if I told you there was another way to find yourself a job? No, this is not one of those freelance markets like UpWork, Freelancer, and Fiverr. I present to you the giant of a site, Facebook.
What is success? It’s been defined many times so far. Scientists used to attribute it to wealth, great career, happy family and self-realization. If only it has been that easy! In fact, it means different things to everyone. The real answer is inside of you—not in Google or encyclopedia. What is success to you? Let’s give you some time to think it over and focus on myths of it instead.
“Hello! My name is Mr. Turkey and I would like to express my interest in White House Thanksgiving Turkey position.”
If a Thanksgiving turkey had ever written a cover letter, it would probably start like this. Probably, each turkey dreams to go to the White House for a Thanksgiving Day, as this is the only way for them to escape their cruel fate and dive into the luxurious life. And we are going to tell you why!
There’s nothing “better” in the world than a bad job, isn’t there? Ah, the pay is absolutely abysmal, the work hours move at the pace of a dead snail, the horrible boss is overburdening you with mundane tasks, the management is eyeing you like a vulture stalks its prey, and, last but not least, Tom from accounting wants you fired just because you ate the last doughnut this Thursday. What in the world is wrong with you, Tom? Just get a life!
Most of us dream to build an outstanding career and make the Forbes List. However, each year only 400 Americans really do that. The question we ask – what makes them so successful? What special skills do they have that help them to build a prominent career? Researching the qualities of those who already achieved career success, you might not become the second Henry Ford, but at least you will be able to develop a strong set of skills for resume that boost your career to the next level. So now, let’s make a plan of skills to develop in order to become rich and famous!
Have you ever felt being the best fit for a job opening, but your resume didn’t even win the interview? When it comes to self-advertising and self-assessment we often feel lost and confused. We don’t want to look conceited in recruiters’ eyes, however, we want to be assessed fairly and know that our skills and efforts made to get them were appreciated. That is why when searching for a job you should focus on how to make your resume stand out and precisely demonstrate your skills and abilities. First of all, let’s check if you had prepared your resume skills list and made strong and professional skills section of resume.
Have you ever had an amazing interview at an amazing company? From the moment you entered the building, it was unbelievable, the interior looked cute, the employees were enthusiastically buried in work and the coffee points were filled with friendly chatter. To sweeten the deal, the interview was going absolutely great.