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My company’s documented maternity leave policy doesn’t match what I’m receiving.

Discussion in 'Employee Benefits, Pensions' started by MEOR49, Jun 9, 2020.

  1. MEOR49

    MEOR49 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Jurisdiction:
    Oregon
    It’s been the general understanding amongst myself, my coworkers and my superiors that our company’s maternity leave policy is 11 weeks at a variable rate.

    I’m currently 2 weeks postpartum. Just last week I submitted my claim to the company that handles our company’s maternity leave claims.

    I was told that I was eligible for 6 weeks of paid leave with a 2 weeks waiting period. According to them I’m only going to be paid for 4 weeks.

    I was livid. Imagine how you’d feel with a 2 week old in your arms and just now finding out the news that you won’t be receiving the full amount of your benefit?

    I reached out to our VP (we don’t have HR) and told her about my situation. She mentioned that she too thought our policy guaranteed 11 weeks.

    The next day she responded with a PDF of the policy, stating that employees are only eligible for up to 11 weeks and that the company provides up to 6 weeks. Meanwhile, the state can take up the remainder, only if they offer paid parental leave to state residents...

    Again, I was livid. In her direct response to me she states, (and I paraphrase) “I thought it was 11 weeks too...let me check...oh wait looks like it’s not...oh well...sorry”

    There was no direct communication from her or anyone else about the specifics of the policy. Myself, other employees, and superiors above me understood that we all were supposed to receive 11 weeks total of leave.

    There’s currently even another pregnant employee (30 weeks), who thought we were all supposed to receive 11 weeks.

    My supervisor recommended that I submit a formal complaint against her to the CEO of the company. He responded with (and again, I paraphrase...) “she sent you the official document two months ago that explains your benefit , so legally I’m covered and she’s covered. We will not be covering the remainder”

    Meanwhile the document was only sent as an attachment, was not explained in the email, and again, was understood by myself and others that we should be receiving 11 weeks. I didn’t feel the need to check the document at the time because I didn’t think there was any reason to.

    I even continued to communicate with the VP, telling her how much leave I was planning on taking (13 weeks total) without any questions from her or anyone else as to the amount of leave I was taking. Even on the date that I followed up with her (at 1 week postpartum, mind you), to her understanding the policy was 11 weeks.

    The CEO of our company has admitted nothing wrong, says that he’s covered because of what’s stated in the “document” and hasn’t even apologized for the miscommunication.

    Why am I being punished for their error?

    What legal case do I have against them, if any?

    My coworkers and supervisors are as mad as I am. If we organized a strike/walkout across the company, would we have any legal protections?

    Looking for any and all insight. We don’t have an internal HR department so this makes dealing with issues like these pretty difficult.
     
  2. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    You aren't being punished, but if you keep up with your tirade, you might soon be terminated.

    None.


    No.
     
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  3. cbg

    cbg Super Moderator

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    Your "general understanding" notwithstanding, at what point prior to the birth did you inquire about the policy?
     
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  4. flyingron

    flyingron Well-Known Member

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    I'm going to have to disagree with the judge. Oregon has specific rules on maternity leave. However, while the employer policy doesn't sound quite in compliance to the law, it may be. The law varies based on the size of the employer. Further, the state does indeed pay a percentage of the payments, but that's not "weeks of leave" but a ratio of the amount received while on the leave.

    Information on the law and what to do about it is summarized here: https://www.oregon.gov/boli/TA/docs/OFLA-Poster.pdf
     
  5. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    To summarize: You received the document but didn't bother reading it...now you're mad. I hope that the largest percentage of your anger is directed at yourself for not bothering to read an important document that you were given months ago...
     
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  6. cbg

    cbg Super Moderator

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    The Oregon Paid Maternity Leave law has not gone into effect yet.
     
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  7. MEOR49

    MEOR49 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I didn’t know that asking questions and feeling upset equaled having a “tirade”.

    Oh I get it...it’s because I’m a woman, right?Got it.

    Your name is stupid.
     
  8. MEOR49

    MEOR49 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    It’s a shared anger. Albeit, an important document that even my coworkers, two supervisors, and VP who sent the document, didn’t bother to read.

    Yeah I’m upset about a lot. My supervisors are currently trying to help.

    Thanks for not providing any productive feedback and making me feel worse.
     
  9. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    Ok, let me spell it out for your, since you seem to be unable to read (the very large print) between the lines.

    You were provided the policy. You CHOSE not to read the policy. There really is nobody to blame but yourself.
     
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  10. cynthiag

    cynthiag Active Member

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    It has nothing to do with you being a woman. A lot of us on here are women. I wouldn't have necessarily called your post a tirade, but I do agree that the fault lies with you for not reading the document.

    You admit you didn't "check the document" when you received it. I have been in HR for 30 years and I can't tell you how many times people don't read the documents I send them (always with instructions to READ THE DOCUMENT) and then think they have a grievance because they didn't read it.

    I wouldn't waste time producing documents and sending them to people if I didn't expect them to actually read them. I understand that you don't have an HR department, but somebody still sends the documents out with the expectation that employees will read them and clarify anything they don't understand, before it becomes an issue.

    And tacking on that remark in your last sentence was just plain childish.
     
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  11. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Good luck.
     
  12. hrforme

    hrforme Active Member

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    " ...the expectation that employees will read them and clarify anything they don't understand, before it becomes an issue..."

    EXACTLY!!!! With "before" also being a key word. Unfortunately OP made assumptions (as did others) but that doesn't mean the others are required to give her those bad assumptions.

    If being paid through an STD plan, it is VERY common to have a 2 week waiting period and then to be paid either 4 or 6 weeks disability pay based on a normal or c-section birth. Anything beyond that is state or employer specific.
     
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  13. justblue

    justblue Well-Known Member

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    Based on this post ^^ you seem to be exactly the type of person to not read important paperwork and then whine about it afterwords. A silly and childish twit. Hopefully you won't be so irresponsible when it comes to your child's needs.
     
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  14. cbg

    cbg Super Moderator

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    If the plan provides for six weeks with a two week waiting period, then that's what the plan provides for. It's not within the authority of HR to make unilateral changes and give you time that the plan does not provide for, it doesn't matter what you "understood" the program to be.

    And the majority of the people responding in this thread, including myself, are also women.
     

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