Monday, March 5, 2012

Why the radio silence

Sorry for the silence. I've had quite a week, filled with work-related drama. 

Two Thursdays ago I was called into my VP's office, along with my colleague (a peer) and we were told our department was being re-organized. Both our jobs were going away, being reclassified and we'd have to reapply for the jobs. My colleague (a man) would be getting a raise and a higher job title while my job's scope would be getting smaller, with a lesser title. The closest VP came to reassuring us about our jobs was by saying that he hoped to fill the positions with people in the larger department he manages and said he wasn't opening the job to external candidates.

I sat there dumb-founded. Holy Sh*t. Here I was 6 weeks from going on maternity leave being told my job was going away and that I'd have to re-apply for a job at a lower title and with less responsibilities. 

Is that even legal?!!!???!!

Needless to say, I've taken action. Yes, I've applied for the job and am waiting to hear. But I've also reached out to an attorney.

Oh, and last week I was completely swamped delivering training (which I'll no longer be doing should I get the "new" job), to stunning reviews (of course).

So, now at 32 weeks, I'm 4 weeks from going on maternity leave and I don't know if I have a job. How fracking unfair is this? I'm so stressed by this whole thing and could use some encouraging and supportive words from cyberspace.

~Jem

20 comments:

Mrs. Gamgee said...

My gut reaction was just what you asked... is that even legal?

When I went on mat leave, I knew that if I wasn't coming back, then my position would be changed into a higher level management position. But they had to hold my job for the duration of my leave before they could make ANY changes. Even if I had hinted that I wasn't coming back, until they had it in writing they couldn't (by law) get rid of my position.

I'm feeling all grrrr on your behalf!

Kristen {www.buckupbuttercup.net} said...

So sorry this is happening. I'm glad you reached out to an attorney. The timing of this is very strange, to say the least.
Ugh. Last thing you need is this stress...
Hang in there...
Hugs...

Oak said...

I dont know if it's legal now but it's highly illegal if it happens in 4 weeks. Close enough. Here are my words of encouragement. My friend had a very similar thing happen and with the legal settlement she got she was able to spend 18 months at home with her son. How's that for a golden lining?

Oak said...

Bahahaha. Silver lining. Whatever. So I mix metaphors. Kill me.

Lulu said...

I'm so sorry you're going through this. You're absolutely right to have contacted an attorney. Please keep us posted about what happens next!

a miracle 4 us said...

oh gosh....that is stressful I am sure. I do have to say in times like this, things have always worked out and believe they will for you!

Single Mom BB said...

Wow! I don't think it would hold up in court (for your company, that is). I can't believe that your HR would even sign off on such a move given you are about to head out on leave. I'm glad you have consulted an attorney!

Kristen said...

The day before I was 38 weeks I was laid off (with a large portion of my dept, so no legal questions or fewer at least). I was induced so I would still get maternity pay, as my separation date was 5 days out. Between that and the severance, I've been able to stay home for a year with my daughter. Best thing to ever happen to me, although it was beyond scary at the time!

Matt and Krista said...

Well, that blows! I'm so glad to hear that you are seeking advice from a lawyer. Companies can get into HUGE trouble by screwing over a pregnant woman or a woman on maternity leave. They better watch themselves

Mo and Will said...

wow - i'm glad you've reached out to an attorney. this sounds very fishy. and it sucks, to boot.

Mo

erika said...

Uggggh:( this is ringing a bell. My job trouble started at around 30 weeks. I was gonna loose insurance 6 days before my due date. WTF? I am sooo sorry this is happening to you, right now:( You need no added stress.
I very much hope things will work out for the better!
Good for you for reaching out. I hope the attorney can get you some reassuring news. I will keep my fingers crossed the new position will be given to you.

Mrs. Misfits said...

The disabilities act is meant to keep people from suffering discrimination in cases like this. The fact that they are effectively trying to demote you prior to maternity leave is really dicey. They could have easily waited until you returned to do this. If it means that you would be taking a pay cut in benefits during your leave, it sounds especially discriminatory. Grr.

California has great laws on this and I am pulling for some reasonable outcome that will keep you calm and stress-free during those wonderful days at home with the little one. 4 weeks will fly by!

Poppet said...

To me it looks like you have 2 different real, legal grievances:

1) A man with a similar position being promoted over you.

2) Being fired 4 weeks before going on a long paid leave for which you are entitled.

Make sure the lawyer who you are using are very strong on discrimination law (as apposed to you're cousin Vinny). :-)

Good luck to you! Sorry this is happening. It's 2012 for crying out loud, but listening to the hostile anti-women rhetoric that seems so in fashion I guess there are plenty of people who think you should be barefoot in the kitchen considering your current state... ;-)

Rain Child said...

Holy Cr@p! That's crazy, and (everyone is saying) highly suspicious!! I'm so glad you've sought legal advice! I have no words of wisdom, but hang in there! I hope this all turns out for the best!

nurslouisa said...

This completely sucks! I'm so sorry you are going through this. I tried to negotiate for longer maternatity leave and ended up on bedrest, didn't get it settled before the baby came but after he arrived well work stuff just felt a lot less urgent.

Sooz said...

WTF?! Can they even do that? Talk about blatant discrimination and literally, right before you leave! This is the last thing you need. I can't believe they're even trying to pull this BS.

I really hope everything goes ok and turns out for the best. Keep us posted!

TeeJay said...

Good for you for getting a lawyer...that is so NOT legal. I mean, it can't be, right?

Hang in there, I know this is the LAST thing you needed right now. I hope that things get straightened out and that your job doesn't disappear.

Sending you (((hugs))).

bunny said...

OHMYGOODNESS, this is such a terrible bit of news, and it does have the stink of discrimination, though who knows. I wonder if the VP thinks this is actually appropriate or is just hoping you won't challenge it. I commend you for not skipping a beat before reaching out to an attorney. I hope this works out in your favor, but while you wait, I'll just say this sucks royally, and I'm sorry these last few weeks which should be all about happy anticipation now have this crappy flavor.

Jay said...

Wow...seriously??? The timing of it *should* make a lawyer wet his pants in glee and I hope the scenario Oak describes comes true, it sounds plausible.

Hope you are not getting too over-stressed by this. Believe that will work out--things like this always do. Nobody can get away with stuff like this, not in the world we live in.

Let There Be Sims said...

Wow that news would make anyone nervous but I can't imagine how hard that is to hear as a pregnant woman. You will get thru this!