Would love some advice - during Covid, I transitioned to a smaller firm that had some great things to offer but has almost zero experience dealing with attorney maternity leave. They agreed to create a policy during the hiring process, and the administrator did come talk to me at some point after my hire to say they had settled on a policy and some paid leave, which is great, but they never verified in writing and the paid period was pretty short (maybe a month or 6 weeks). (Con’t in comments)

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My thinking is that is very standard and you aren’t going to be able change anything. I also think given your age you should start trying now no matter what. 8 weeks of lost pay in the scheme of life and success with pregnancy is nothing.

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I think you should start trying now, regardless. Frustrating, yes. But if you want a baby, those two months of missed pay can be planned for over the 9 months of pregnancy. Sucks? Yes. But at the end of it, there’s a baby. ❤️

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Private disability insurance very rarely, if ever, covers pregnancy and maternity leave, because everyone would sign up, get pregnant, collect the benefits, and immediately quit, making it extremely expensive and not a good deal for the insurer. October is really not that far away- id prob start trying and join the firms policy in October if I still wasn’t pregnant by that point. Have you reviewed their policy to see if pregnancy is a preexisting condition that would exclude you from collecting benefits? Also depending on what state you live in, you may have more options. I think CA and NY have state sponsored disability leave. I live in TN and worked at a small firm w no leave policy and looked into this pretty extensively a few years ago - ultimately there were no good options for me beyond unpaid leave. Good luck!

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Yeah, sadly our state is also on the no-benefits train, and pregnancy is considered a preexisting condition for disability purposes, so I think that reduces our options. It’s so frustrating that we have to go through all this or that this is the issue that could determine whether some couples have children or don’t.

Do you have any sick leave accrued? Can you use that? Where my husband has worked and where I work you can only sign up or change benefits during open enrollment. The only exception is due to change in life circumstance like marriage, divorce, birth etc.

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We don’t get sick leave, but at the associates’ request, they’re going to start tracking our PTO (they never have before) so that we can use unused PTO during mat leave - I think it might add as many as 3 weeks, which is helpful.

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At the time I was having some health issues, so my husband and I decided to put off enrolling in short-term disability so we wouldn’t be paying premiums for a year or more for no reason. I just got a green light from my doctor and we want to move quickly due to my age, but when I reached out to my firm’s benefits administrator, I was told that we have an enrollment period for disability policies and it’s not until October, and my firm refuses to make an exception due to the “administrative burden.” I’m taken aback as my last firm paid our disability automatically so I never had to worry, but if you wanted to increase your benefits, etc., you could do it at any time. Have any of you run into similar situations? Did you find private disability insurance insanely expensive? We are so stressed about this and don’t want an enrollment period to set us back almost half a year at a point when that would really matter, medically speaking. Thanks!!

I am not following the timing issue. It’s almost July 1, which means you’re ~90 days away from October 1 (your enrollment period). You won’t need short term disability until you deliver, which can’t possibly be in 90 days. It can take several months to get pregnant, so you might try and try and try snd not be pregnant in October anyways. I am not understanding where you came up with being put back a half a year?

Enrollment periods are pretty standard unless you have a “qualifying life event.” Depending on your insurance and state, you may need to have the Short-term D insurance in place *before* your first scan / treatment with the dr for your pregnancy to get access to the benefit. Double check with your benefits manager for sure!

If you’re comfortable sharing, it might be helpful to know your age/age range, the STD elimination period, and whether the STD benefit is separate from the paid leave your employer has established. It does stink that we have to worry about any of this sort of stuff, but it may help with our providing outside perspective if we have sense of those timeframes. Absent some known fertility issue, trying at 37 and trying at , say, 43 can be very different.

Given that, I would start trying now and start scrimping at the same time. If timing works out to where you get the extra 8 weeks out of STD, you’ve got cushion, but your instinct not to set back your timeframe (assuming you’ve been at the firm long enough to be FMLA eligible by viability) seems sound.

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