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Small Law Firm - Maternity Leave Policies

Does anyone have experience or know of any small law firms' fandan04/20/18
It's theoretically possible that some small firms have a for midlaw04/20/18
It's whatever the partners want it to be. If you've worked t cranky04/20/18
I think generally it is not offered. fettywap04/20/18
Replies with actual "experience" or "knowledge" of actual po fandan04/20/18
I ran a small law firm and my response was our “policy.” midlaw04/20/18
Not sure why you're being snarky to midlaw. S/He's response thirdtierlaw04/20/18
My firm does not offer it. Attorneys I know at other firms d fettywap04/20/18
Depends on the firm and state law. HTH. pauperesq04/24/18
What state has a law that requires maternity leave? fettywap04/24/18
California, New Jersey and Rhode Island that I'm aware of. pauperesq04/25/18
Do you have to buy disability insurance to get that? fettywap04/25/18
I don't live in any of those states so I can't speak to the pauperesq04/25/18
I know as to RI (had a coverage issue on a private policy) t jd4hire04/25/18
Actual equality requires that maternity leave policies be th maverick04/20/18
why do people want to have useless children? dietcoke04/20/18
How dare wage slaves waste their most productive years of po triplesix04/21/18
Officially, ours is the minimum amount of unpaid leave requi themapmaster04/21/18
It's whatever the office says it is and they can get away wi isthisit04/21/18
My small firm handles it on a case by case basis. Some wome tomjoadsload04/24/18
Some small firms are highly professional, have set policies, trollfeeder04/24/18
Depending on the size of the small firm, you may be out of l patenttrollnj04/24/18
California has paid family leave up to 6 weeks. I don’t th downwardslope04/25/18
New York, D.C. and Rhode Island have paid paternity leave. jd4hire04/25/18
I worked for a small firm several years ago. When I got preg elle30104/24/18
What a joke. The sad part is six weeks is still laughably lo mtbislife04/25/18
My biglaw firm is 18 weeks but unless you are really partner irishlaw04/25/18
When I was in private practice, the policy was "I don't care lilgub04/25/18
They definitely do care. This is a field where people get up mtbislife04/25/18
Small firm life is YMMV. I'm confident it was not an issue lilgub04/25/18

fandan (Apr 20, 2018 - 4:03 pm)

Does anyone have experience or know of any small law firms' maternity leave policies, and benefits (if any are offered)?

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midlaw (Apr 20, 2018 - 4:41 pm)

It's theoretically possible that some small firms have a formal policy, but I suspect the policies are basically "take as much unpaid leave as you want and maybe you'll still have a job when you want to come back."

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cranky (Apr 20, 2018 - 5:05 pm)

It's whatever the partners want it to be. If you've worked there a while and they like you, then you'll have better luck getting paid leave.

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fettywap (Apr 20, 2018 - 5:20 pm)

I think generally it is not offered.

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fandan (Apr 20, 2018 - 5:21 pm)

Replies with actual "experience" or "knowledge" of actual policies are most welcome and helpful. Opinions or "theories" not so much.

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midlaw (Apr 20, 2018 - 5:22 pm)

I ran a small law firm and my response was our “policy.”

Edit: the issue never came up and the policy wasn’t formalized.

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thirdtierlaw (Apr 20, 2018 - 5:58 pm)

Not sure why you're being snarky to midlaw. S/He's response has been my experience as well. My firm's policy is take as much time as you want, but nobody is covering hearings for you outside the first two weeks, but if you are able to get the court to move your other hearings and still keep your clients happy, take as much time as you want. But we do not operate on a billable hour model.

My friend at an 8 person firm was able to take 4 weeks before she started getting more and more work related emails and she was pretty much doing small amounts of work the whole time she was "out."

So both policies are identical to the vacation policy.

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fettywap (Apr 20, 2018 - 7:48 pm)

My firm does not offer it. Attorneys I know at other firms don't get it either.

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pauperesq (Apr 24, 2018 - 5:11 pm)

Depends on the firm and state law. HTH.

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fettywap (Apr 24, 2018 - 6:28 pm)

What state has a law that requires maternity leave?

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pauperesq (Apr 25, 2018 - 10:00 am)

California, New Jersey and Rhode Island that I'm aware of.

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fettywap (Apr 25, 2018 - 10:01 am)

Do you have to buy disability insurance to get that?

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pauperesq (Apr 25, 2018 - 10:05 am)

I don't live in any of those states so I can't speak to the particulars. Each has a law that gives allows mothers paid time off (at least partial pay, maybe full pay), for a period of time after birth.

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jd4hire (Apr 25, 2018 - 10:49 am)

I know as to RI (had a coverage issue on a private policy) that the mother takes TDI (Temporary Disability Insurance) through the state. TDI "premiums" are taken out of each paycheck. For the father, they have to take benefits through TCI (Temporary Caregiver Insurance). Same thing as to TCI "premiums" being deducted from pay.

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maverick (Apr 20, 2018 - 6:52 pm)

Actual equality requires that maternity leave policies be the same as paternity leave policies, because, as we know, there are no differences between the genders other than what has been constructed by society.

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dietcoke (Apr 20, 2018 - 9:04 pm)

why do people want to have useless children?

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triplesix (Apr 21, 2018 - 11:40 am)

How dare wage slaves waste their most productive years of poopy lives not working unpaid overtime for the benefit of beautiful and smart rich people without whom this country would collapse tomorrow.

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themapmaster (Apr 21, 2018 - 12:09 pm)

Officially, ours is the minimum amount of unpaid leave required by federal law. But out of generosity we agreed to give paid leave to a secretary last year. She used all her paid leave, came back for one week, and quit.

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isthisit (Apr 21, 2018 - 12:25 pm)

It's whatever the office says it is and they can get away with. Also whatever the mandatory minimum allowed by state and federal law.

It's really case by case.

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tomjoadsload (Apr 24, 2018 - 4:00 pm)

My small firm handles it on a case by case basis. Some women, who've been with the firm for years, took 12 weeks off and received their wages. Others, who were newer employees, took their 12 weeks unpaid (with the exception of disability, ofc). For all, their jobs were held until they came back.

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trollfeeder (Apr 24, 2018 - 4:37 pm)

Some small firms are highly professional, have set policies, paid time off. Other small firms have no policy, and will make the least effort to accommodate you. Asking for a general answer is of no help to you.

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patenttrollnj (Apr 24, 2018 - 8:31 pm)

Depending on the size of the small firm, you may be out of luck.

The family medical leave act requires 12 unpaid weeks off, but that only applies to companies with 50 or more employees. Individual state laws may bring that number down to fewer than 50 employees, but it's likely still unpaid leave. I don't know of any state that actually requires employers of any size to pay women on maternity leave.

Note that some firms circumvent this 50 employee requirement by using contract employees (that work full time hours, but are technically consultants). So, it's not enough to just count how many people that show-up each day to your office.

Unfortunately for the mother, small firms may shield themselves by claiming undue hardship to the business, thus you don't get much in the way of maternity leave.

It may be more practical to work-out some sort of accommodation, if possible.

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downwardslope (Apr 25, 2018 - 7:41 am)

California has paid family leave up to 6 weeks. I don’t think it is 100% pay, but is more like disability pay. The only (father) I know who took it got 100% pay from his company.

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jd4hire (Apr 25, 2018 - 8:41 am)

New York, D.C. and Rhode Island have paid paternity leave. Not sure how they work with women though.

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elle301 (Apr 24, 2018 - 9:11 pm)

I worked for a small firm several years ago. When I got pregnant with my first, I gave my boss 7 months of notice that I would be out... And ended up taking six weeks of unpaid leave. My boss was pissed that I had been out and gave me a performance evaluation the day I came back.

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mtbislife (Apr 25, 2018 - 11:56 am)

What a joke. The sad part is six weeks is still laughably low for most developed countries.

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irishlaw (Apr 25, 2018 - 1:49 am)

My biglaw firm is 18 weeks but unless you are really partner track those who take 18 weeks come back to “less” work.

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lilgub (Apr 25, 2018 - 9:26 am)

When I was in private practice, the policy was "I don't care what you do as long as you meet the yearly billable requirement and don't screw up the schedule too bad"

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mtbislife (Apr 25, 2018 - 11:57 am)

They definitely do care. This is a field where people get upset if you leave the office before all the partners do or cut out at 4pm on a Friday.

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lilgub (Apr 25, 2018 - 2:19 pm)

Small firm life is YMMV. I'm confident it was not an issue at my firm. Could be elsewhere.

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