Cheryl found out she was pregnant just a few months ago. When she told her boss, he was very supportive. He let her work from home on the mornings she was sick, and let her go early for her doctor’s appointments without batting an eye. Cheryl is now eight months along and has decided she wants to stay home with her baby. She wants to tell her boss, but she doesn’t want to lose her benefits early. She’s not sure what she should do.
Cheryl’s scenario is a common one, as we grapple with the decision to be ethical, especially to a supportive employer, or to “take the money and run”. Benefits are a sacred thing, especially in today’s healthcare crisis. If you are planning on leaving the company for sure after having your baby, telling them your plans is the right thing to do. Have an alternative means of obtaining benefits on hand, such as your husband’s employer, through private insurance, or COBRA.
As an alternative, you could tell your employer that you will come back a few weeks into your maternity leave temporarily to train your replacement. This may be enough to keep your benefits and your integrity intact through your maternity period.
If you are not sure what you will do after having your baby, leave the decision open until you are ready. That may be the day you deliver or several weeks down the road. The important thing is to plan ahead as much as possible. Don’t quit your job without a financial plan.