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  • Teacher pay/benefits - on 12-month pay Massachusetts

    My wife is a teacher in MA (private school) and we are expecting in Feb. The school's 12-week maternity leave puts the end of paid-leave about 6 weeks from end of the year. Some questions related to this.

    1/ She'd rather be w/ the baby than go back for ~6wks and then break for summer. We understand that any additional leave will be w/out pay (up to 8 weeks?). But, we aren't clear what happens thereafter?
    2/ She's typically paid (benefits, etc.) over 12-months. Once the paid/unpaid period is done - it's the summer. Is she returned to normal status w/ pay, etc. resuming?

    separately:
    3/ she has been "asked" if she would "like to" grade papers, etc. during her maternity leave period. No one has stipulated that she must, etc. - only "suggested" it might be helpful to the dept. Realizing it's very loose and only at the dept level at this point - any suggestions on course of action?

    4/ the contract is pretty clear with respect to maternity leave policy, etc. But, there have been 3 cases where employees have been granted an "extended" maternity leave with pay of up to 4-wks. Does this type of precedence have any bearing on us? Would be advisable to talk to someone in the admin about this and note the discrepancy in treatment?

    thanks in advance for responses.

  • #2
    1) Why do you think your wife is entitled to an additional 8 weeks of leave? MA maternity law offers 8 weeks of leave if the company does not under FMLA. If she is receiving 12 weeks that satisfies the leave requirement.

    3) Does she want to assist the school? If not, she should tell whoever is asking that she can't do it.

    4) Is your wife and the other 3 who were granted extended time off with pay similarly situated? Have they worked there the same time and did the other pregnancies have extenuating circumstances? How do you know the others were paid?

    Comment


    • #3
      thanks for the response.

      1/ Re: additional time off
      - we don't think she's entitled to an additional 8-wks. this will be unpaid time off. My question was related to the period after this 12 (paid) + 6 (unpaid) wk period considering the 12-month pay period but school's out (related to #2)

      3/ thanks.

      4/ yes, all three hold similar positions. None had extenuating circumstances that we know of - based on information provided by them.

      Comment


      • #4
        Federal law requires an employer to hold the job for 12 weeks, and only 12 weeks. So if she wants to stay home longer, they are within their rights to tell her she is out of a job.

        The sub may be thrilled, but the school may not. They can legally terminate her for not returning at the end of her FMLA leave, and they can legally tell her that they will not have a spot for her in the fall. I guess that depends on how much they like the sub - but it would be legal.

        If others have had similar circumstances and got extended leave, it's worth asking, and asking with enough time to make a good plan for every possible answer. But don't be surprised if you hear that the others' circumstances were just different enough to make the answer "no" for her.

        re #2 - if they do agree to extend her leave, definitely inquire about the summer pay.

        Comment


        • #5
          Neither Federal nor MA law requires that she receive a single day of paid leave. Both Federal and state leave is unpaid unless the employer CHOOSES to provide paid leave or it is required by union contract.
          The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by mahusconc View Post
            My wife is a teacher in MA (private school) and we are expecting in Feb. The school's 12-week maternity leave puts the end of paid-leave about 6 weeks from end of the year. Some questions related to this.

            1/ She'd rather be w/ the baby than go back for ~6wks and then break for summer. We understand that any additional leave will be w/out pay (up to 8 weeks?).

            Sure she would rather stay home with baby but whether she gets 6 more weeks of leave is entirely up to her employer.
            But, we aren't clear what happens thereafter?
            This is totally up to her employer. No law protects this time so she could be out of a job, be returned to the same job as though nothing happened or any number of variations.


            2/ She's typically paid (benefits, etc.) over 12-months. Once the paid/unpaid period is done - it's the summer. Is she returned to normal status w/ pay, etc. resuming?

            If her employer opts to return her to normal status yes. If they decide not to based on the 6 extra weeks off, that is also possible. My guess is that her pay and benefits will resume when she returns to work.
            separately:
            3/ she has been "asked" if she would "like to" grade papers, etc. during her maternity leave period. No one has stipulated that she must, etc. - only "suggested" it might be helpful to the dept. Realizing it's very loose and only at the dept level at this point - any suggestions on course of action?

            If she doesn't want to, tell her to say no.


            4/ the contract is pretty clear with respect to maternity leave policy, etc. But, there have been 3 cases where employees have been granted an "extended" maternity leave with pay of up to 4-wks. Does this type of precedence have any bearing on us? Would be advisable to talk to someone in the admin about this and note the discrepancy in treatment?

            My suspicion is that these employees had 4 extra weeeks of paid leave saved up. If your wife does as well and would like to take the extra 4 weeks it can't hurt to ask. By law the exceptions are meaningless. Granting an exception doesn't entitle her to a greater legal benefit. It could be 4 weeks is ok but not 6. Could be dependent upon long term sub availability. Could be based on subject matter taught and exam schedules. Until she asks, she won't know.
            thanks in advance for responses.
            xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
            I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

            Comment

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