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I'm so pissed...

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  • I'm so pissed...

    So I'm a graphic designer for a portioning system manufacturing company (YAWN!). I worked full time hours then found out I was pregnant. So I requested a maternity leave. No biggie. They informed me that they didn't offer paid maternity leave, but to keep getting a paycheck, I could work from home a few hours a week. Sounds fine and dandy. Well...I took my maternity leave and worked a few hoursa week from home. Then when I submitted my time card at the end of the month, I put Thanksgiving down as holiday pay. They didn't give it to me. Ok...a little annoyed at this point, but oh well. I can live without 8 hours of pay. So I got an email today from my boss. He told me that because I was a part time employee, I was ineligible for holiday, vacation and health care benefits. PART TIME EMPLOYEE. What the hell?? I pop out a baby and suddenly I'm bumped to PT??? Yeah, that's fair.

    GRRRR. I'm so pissed right now.

  • #2
    I've been in/witnessed two situations like yours (minus the pregnancy). The first happened with an old co-worker of mine named Joe. He was hired as a 'gopher' of sorts that handled folding/binding/errands/assistance to the pressman, etc. This was a full-time position.

    As anyone knows, print shops have their up and down periods and you have to take the bad with the good. If it's busy and we're running around like chickens with our heads cut off, we get paid. If we're sitting around twiddling our thumbs because of a lack of work, we should still get paid. So our slow period hits and Joe suddenly started getting extremely reduced hours, not even coming in for a straight week. He finally had enough and verbally chewed out my boss over the phone, and that was all she wrote. Even though the situation was totally wrong, I was kind of glad to see him go...he was kind of a dork and tended to annoy me (I'm the silent type, just leave me be).

    Second situation was my own: the summer of 2003 was getting slow, so my boss decided to can me on Fridays. I would have argued this more, except for a few factors: 1.) I'pancaking' (I'm learning) hate my place, 2.) my bills would still be paid, and 3.) four day weeks rule. So I spent a lot of Fridays getting old projects done, rollerblading in the park, swimming, etc.

    But since I'm evil incarnate, that was too easy. So in a wee bit of revenge, I would sometimes leave projects unfinished on Thursday (not promised deadlines or anything), and the customer would phone back on Friday and the employers would have to fess up that I was gone and it was their problem. My 'vacation' didn't last very long, I was brought back to five days again at the butt end of summer in September and no attempt to yank that has been attempted since.

    Anyway, you would be expected to return as a full time employee after maternity leave, no? That'd be like getting my hourly rate knocked down because I took a week of vacation time. I'm usually against women using sexism accusations to get something they want, but in your situation where you're not getting everything you are indeed entitled to as a FULL TIME EMPLOYEE, I think doing so would be all too appropriate.

    Patrick Shannon

    My War With Culture
    The Positively Eclectic Online Comic!


    • #3
      If you are in the US the Family Medical Leave Act should have protected you. The employer is obligated by law to give you up to 12 weeks off without the loss of your job but they are not obligated to pay you. I don't think that they can take health care benefits away from you either nor change you employment status while you are off. As long as you can prove that you were receiving benefit before you went on leave you may have a legal claim. My sister in a HR. I'll ask her what she thinks and get back to you.

      'You want it when? Ok, no problem. Excuse me while I pull the magic wand out of my ass!'
      You want it when!? Well in that case, let me pull my magic wand out of my ass and take care of that for you.


      • #4
        this is highly illegal. you need to talk with an employment lawyer.

        'I will become the most powerful Jedi ever!'
        'I'm the damn designer, bitches!'

        Check out my indie comic book!
        "Even when I'm not at 100%, I'm still 110% better then anyone else!"

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        • #5

          Ok, this is where I think they got me: in my boss's email, he made it sound like we had both agreed that I would work 24 hours/week after the baby was born. What I had agreed to (or so I thought and made this clear in my reply email) was that I would work 24 hours/week DURING THE LEAVE then continue to work full time upon my return. So I'd work 24 hours/week forsix weeks. I should still get the benefits, right? Oh, and according to their policy, I don't completely lose health care...I just have to pay 40% (based on 24 hrs/wk). I don't know if my boss is aware of the math here, but less money due to less hours+ higher health care costsdue to new baby= me screwed over royally.

          I'm not one of those women's rights advocates that threatens to sue any timeI might be treated differently than men. But this is a little ridiculous. I had to take the leave because 1) I work a friggin hour away and 2) I had a C-section and I'm not medically cleared to return to the office. But my gosh, I'm offering to work from home and they completely shaft me like this???



          • #6
            Geez do we work at the same place?
            When I buy stickers for folks in prison, I bring milk not backyard meth - it's a prison party!


            • #7
              Oh man. You too? I'm sorry.

              It seems to be going around. From what I've noticed, graphic designers are completely taken advantage of. People tend to think that we aren't a crucial part of the team, so they can trample all over us. Am I overlooking something in the job description? Did I miss the part where it said "Must possess the skills to bend over and take it up the butt"?


              • #8
                I don't think it is just graphic designers. Most companies are cheap and try to get away with as much as they can.

                P r o d u c t i o n s


                • #9
                  Ok, here are some things I found out about the Family Medical Leave Act.

                  1) They have to give you upto 12 weeks off. FMLA protects your job, benefits and wage. They are required BY LAW to put you back into a job equivalent to what you were in before you left. This is assuming you had been with them for at least a year before taking maternity leave. If you hadn't been with the for a year your screwed. Since pregnancy is intermittent, any time you took off during your pregnancy counted toward the 12 weeks. FMLA is counted down in hours so if you had two hours of morning sickness for two days, then that counts as 4 hours you were off. If you go over the 12 weeks by even as much as an hour, you lose your protection.

                  2) If the company was planning to downsize your position and can prove it (most companies can it the case of downsizing) then the company CAN change your hours and pay. It will throw up some red flags and you could have a legal case against them.

                  Sounds like you need to try working it out with your boss first and if that doesn't work get legal help. I think you may have a case.

                  If your boss says that you had an agreement before you left that you would work part-time once you returned he/she needs to prove it. Otherwise it's his/her word agaist yours.

                  Document everything.

                  'You want it when? Ok, no problem. Excuse me while I pull the magic wand out of my ass!'
                  You want it when!? Well in that case, let me pull my magic wand out of my ass and take care of that for you.


                  • #10
                    See? This f**king shit pisses me off. I should hire myself out as a troubleshooter and fix these problems myself.

                    Patrick, you're right after my own heart. Love your revenge bit.

                    Know this: Spammers, Flammers and Trolls will be shown no mercy and given no quarter. They will be pursued to the ends of the earth and executed Mod-style.

                    - Magnus






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