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© 2020 Fairygodboss. All rights reserved.
12/13/19 at 3:28PM UTC
Major job change when returning from maternity leave
Alright ladies, I am looking for advice and due to the delicate nature am going the anonymous route. I am supposed to be going back to work after my maternity leave. I met with my manager over the phone to check in and she is significantly changing my job upon my return. Prior to going out on leave we had spoken at several 1:1 conversations about how when I transitioned back, I would need to use the flexibility offered in my position and work remotely on occasion, especially the first few months. With the way my job is changing I will no longer have that option nor the ability to flex my schedule as my previous job allowed, which will cause a multitude of problems with existing commitments for my older child. My husband doesn’t have job flexibility, so it was more important in my role. As some additional background, I am not a poor performer and was actually recognized several times last year by my colleagues as being exceptional, so in no way is this that sort of issue. In hindsight I know I should have sent emails to follow up on our discussions since I don’t have anything in writing to help support my case, but short of inventing a time machine, what can I do?
schoenlegal 25 yr legal recruiter MBA and JD
12/13/19 at 4:09PM UTC
If your employer can prove that the evolution of your job had no bearing on your being out for maternity leave, I believe you are stuck and have to make decisions based on what you have in front of you. IF however, your job evolved in "retaliation" for your maternity leave, then you have a whole different situation. Investigate the "true" situation and then make your decision, even it that means bringing in an employment attorney. If I am not mistaken, the employer has to give you your job back if it still exists. If it has morphed (without having anything to do with your pregnancy) then they only have to offer the morphed job to you, take it or leave it. BUT ask an employment attorney for the specific laws in your state.
CEO of The Swing Shift. Badass mother of two.
12/15/19 at 2:46PM UTC
+1 here. At the same time think about looking - either inside or outside the org - for a more flexible arrangement. (Like you have time with an infant I know)
12/13/19 at 4:26PM UTC
This is a tough situation to be in- I'm very sorry to hear it. Something similar happened to me, and I chose to look for a new role as a result. Ultimately as a parent, I've learned that there are many moments when things go awry and I need to have flexibility to handle those. Also, I think that employers should be understanding, especially right after parental leave when it can be most unpredictable (within reason). Finally, given how tight the labor market is today, I felt strongly that I could do better from an employment/happiness standpoint and it was worthwhile to chase that. Good luck.
News Editor at KPBS, San Diego's PBS/NPR station
12/14/19 at 4:04PM UTC
It happened to me as well without any kind of leave being involved; the company was going through changes and cutbacks and I was told there was no longer a "work from home" opportunity. I wound up leaving because there were no other options available. In your shoes I'd polish up the resume and be ready to move on.
We're a women’s rights in the workplace law firm
12/14/19 at 4:27PM UTC
Yes, Shoenlegal, the first response said it succinctly. If there was some kind of re-organization that caused your job to change, then it would seem your pregnancy/mat leave had little to do with it. On the other hand, if it is because your manager has no tolerance or questions your commitment to your job, then you may be experiencing pregnancy discrimination. This might be clearer based on how you were treated during your pregnancy ie did you experience a hard time for doctor appointments or time off? Was anyone making snarky comments about having a baby? Reach out of a qualified employment lawyer for your state to protect your rights.
User deleted comment on 12/15/19 at 4:50PM UTC
Consumer insights and analytic leader
12/16/19 at 6:20AM UTC
Does your company have a formal return from maternity leave policy? I have worked at companies that offered new moms 4-day work weeks and 6 hour days as work schedules to assist women transitioning from maternity leave to full-time. As others have mentioned, you need to understand why and what about your job responsibilities have changed such that you no longer have the flexibility you once had.
12/17/19 at 3:36AM UTC
Sounds a lot like what happened to me. I ended up parting ways with my former employer and working on my own as an independent contractor. It has been challenging to find projects (mostly because I focus so much on the baby) but I am so pleasantly surprised that I've been able to sustain staying home with my baby.
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