Soon to Be Formerly Unemployed

Remember that interview last week? I got an offer!

I am so f*cking excited! I didn’t just get a job, I got a job in something I’d like to be doing (besides writing, that is). It’s a career path that I think I could stick with long term.

If given the chance.

After saying, “Yes! I accept the offer!” and working out the details of starting on Monday morning, he asked if I had any questions. I said something like, “One teency tiny little one.  Um. What is the maternity leave policy?”

<crickets>

The HR representative was literally speechless for a minute before responding. While he gathered his thoughts, I explained that my bi-weekly (soon to be weekly) doctor’s checkups would require me to miss some work from time to time until I give birth, at which point I will need to have some kind of maternity leave.

He told me that as far as being absent during training and needing leave eventually, “That’s something you’ll have to work out with your trainer and, after 6 weeks of training, then your manager. It’s up to your manager on how to handle any of that.” Since I don’t qualify for FMLA leave, any leave I can get has to be personally arranged with my supervisor, and then that agreement is provided to HR – HR stays out of that discussion since it’s not FMLA leave. (Another aside: my friends are also aghast that I’m not guaranteed ANY maternity leave. At all. FMLA isn’t universal. It’s not. You have to have worked for your employer for the 12 months prior to your time off, and have worked a minimum number of hours within those 12 months. And that’s if you work for an employer that offers FMLA, because not everyone has to. News flash: Employers can do whatever they want in terms of giving time off for a baby.)

So I won’t know until 7 weeks from now if I can negotiate any time off for maternity leave. And no time off would obviously be a deal-breaker. I don’t mean to be an A-hole and take a job only to ditch it in 3 months if it turns out I can’t get any leave, but the reality is I need work, I need a paycheck, and I want this job. So I’ll do it for at least the next 6 weeks, even if I have to quit in order to get a maternity leave. So I start my new job on Monday!

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