Typical US Maternity Leave
If I were to become pregnant, I can use short term disability (SDI) with a 7 day waiting period. Before being eligible for my claim, I have to exhaust my entire sick leave bank OR 20 days of it, whichever is comes first. The disability period is generally 8 weeks.
The most likely situation is that I will have (approximately) 20 days of sick leave banked, which is 4 weeks. After 4 weeks of waiting, I’ll get 70% of my pay for the next 4 weeks. Then, all benefits stop and I’m on my own. I’ll return to work with no sick leave in the bank.
That is less than $10k in benefits. I’m currently paying $1,500/year for the supplemental disability (70% of my salary instead of 55%). Now that I’m approaching a 20-day sick bank, that is probably not worth doing anymore. Although it would apply to other short term disabilities, pregnancy is the most likely reason I’d be using this program.
Despite living in California, I’m not eligible for California’s Paid Family Leave. If I was, I think this would allow me to use both SDI and have an additional 6 weeks at 55% pay. I’m not sure of that though, and it doesn’t matter.
Some employers/states don’t even offer short term disability, so I guess this is a small benefit. My job is protected for 12 weeks per federal law.
That’s it. I can use vacation/sick leave for 4 weeks, get 4 weeks at 55%-70% pay, then have 4 weeks unpaid. It is likely I can negotiate more unpaid leave as needed, and possibly a reduced schedule (and pay) after that if I want. But legally and by company policy, those things are up to me to negotiate with my bosses.
Many people already are aware of how nonexistent parental leave is in the US, but many aren’t. I do think this will change some day, but no time soon.
(No, I’m not pregnant or trying, but I am researching.)