Emily Manley of Iowa brought her baby Jettson into the world in 2019. While she and her husband worked hard to save money while she was pregnant, she, like many other parents, was unfamiliar with maternity leave rules and the different options for obtaining it.
Her previous work, a tiny local firm, didn’t provide any paid maternity leave at the time.
Instead, she had to take three months of unpaid leave under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to be with her newborn baby.
“You had to burn up all of your [paid time off] prior to taking leave,” Emily explains, “so you really didn’t have a choice; you had to use it all before you could start leave.”
Emily received a job offer from one of her previous companies during those three months. For a new mom like her, this work provided greater and more effective perks, and she couldn’t say no.
Her old supervisor, though, wrote her a letter that stunned her shortly after she gave her two weeks’ notice…
“You’re not alone if there are other ladies going through this,” Emily told WHO Des Moines.