And I should point out that when my little girl was born I gave myself family leave by quitting. I was working for a political dot-com and knew I didn’t want to maintain those hours and that pace with a kid in the house. So I lined up a new job ahead of time with the understanding that I would start some time after the baby was born. So I gave a month’s notice at the dot-com and my final day was the day we induced labor.
Errrmmm, not to interrupt the little male pity party thing going on here, but I wasn’t given any kind of paid leave either and I was the one actually having the kid. I don’t think this is a sexist anit-father thing so much as an anti-paid leave thing. The test, I guess, would be what kind of leave the OP’s company offers to new mothers. I’m guessing it’s probably about the same.
Short answer: If you want to get paid for that time, yes.
Long answer: You and your employer entered into an agreement in which he pays you in return for days that you work for him. You both agreed at the time of hiring that in addition to this, he would also pay you for a certain number of other days, i.e. vacation days and/or sick days. He is not required to pay you for those days, and in point of fact many companies do not offer such benefits. These days are offered by a uniform policy that applies to everyone in the place (presumably, and if it doesn’t, I have to wonder why you took the job to start with.)
Now you have a situation where you think he should pay you for additional days you don’t work, a situation which doesn’t apply to the rest of the employees. Why should he, when he gets nothing out of the deal in the short-term, and doing so could engender resentment among the other employees?
If you don’t want to use your vacation time, you don’t necessarily have to. You can take the same route that the millions of people who don’t get vacation time or sick days use: very nicely ask your boss for time off, hope he grants it, and take it as unpaid leave. If you’re denied the time off, you either suck it up and go to work or call in sick. If you can’t afford to take the time as unpaid leave, you either suck it up and go to work or you make some financial sacrifices to make up for the unpaid time.
On a side note, I don’t understand why you waited so long to find out what you could expect in the way of time off. You’ve had to know for at least six months that this question was going to come up, and if this was a planned pregnancy, you’ve known ever since you decided to start trying. If you’d left yourself more time to work with, you might have been able to negotiate something. You might still be able to work out some flex time, where you put in extra hours now or later in exchange for time off when the baby’s born.
I agree with Shirley here. My hubby is a great father, but he didn’t take much time off when the boys were born. He takes time off to bring us home or when he wanted to go with to appointments. He was very helpful when he was home, but frankly he’d have been bored out of his mind watching the baby sleep day in and day out for 12 weeks. Be helpful with things your wife can’t do just yet such as driving and errands. Be helpful with playing with the baby in the evening so mom can have a “real” bath or shower. There is much to do with a new baby but it doesn’t take two for 24 hours a day for 12 weeks. Save your time off for when you really need it. Because there will be times when it means a great deal more to your marriage, or to your wife or child than the first few weeks when baby primarily sleeps, eats and poops.
Yeah, what Abby said. It’s too bad you can’t get a little more time off for the baby’s birth, but that’s pretty much what everyone gets, if they’re lucky. Mr. genie got a couple of days off both times, which was good–but he is also one of a small team at a small company, and they just couldn’t do without him for very long. Such is life.
What is your company’s policy for employee’s care of dependents?
Do they allow employees to claim a sick day in order to take their child to the doctor? Or is that am FMLA provision that your company is not required to comply with?
I’d ask some co-workers who have children what they do.
I am the first woman in my small company to be pregnant, as far as I know. I am in the Union, but know one knows how much or what kind of Maternity Leave, I will be given. The president of the company thinks I will only be able to take 8 weeks off non-paid, but they will keep my job open for me to come back to.
When I worked at Kinko’s, I took 12 weeks, 6 weeks was with a percentage of my pay, and 6 weeks non-paid.
I am 3 months pregnant, they better make up they’re mind before the end of may, early June.
My company doesn’t give any paid time off to new fathers. They don’t give it to new mothers either and they are ones doing all the work. It would be nice if employers gave paid days off for a birth but it’s not the norm to do so.
My hubby had to use vacation time with both our kids. I never thought this odd or unfair. I can’t say enough nice things about the generosity of my husband’s company when it comes to allowing for time off for baby related issues. My husband has been to every obstetrician visit and has been allowed to work from home to help me with things like when I got pnemonia after baby #1 was born and when I came home after baby #2 since I now had a 37 pound toddler I couldn’t lift during recovery from a C section.
I adopted a child and got to take time off unpaid under FMLA.
Yeah! Pay $16k for the adoption and then take a month off unpaid!
Although when my daughter was born less than a year later, I discovered that paid leave isn’t all its cracked up to be. I got short term disability after two weeks at 60% of my pay for four more weeks, topped out to $350 a week - $1400 from which I paid taxes. Better than nothing, but I was taking home nearly that a week.
Yep - family leave in the US kind of sucks, at least from the employee point of view.