advertisement
Question
Posted by: Blue | 2010/08/02

Pregnancy and fear of dismissal

Early this year I underwent major surgery and had to use all my sick leave and annual leave. I have since been taking unpaid leave.

I found out recently that I am pregnant and it is a high risk pregnancy, to both me and baby. I face a lot of hospitalization as the pregnancy takes course and possible long term hospitalization.

I was called to a meeting with my supervisor and HR person. I was told that this pregnancy has long term impact on the organization as my work will be sitting on my desk everytime I am ill and on leave. Who will do my work. My supervisor wanted to know what is the limit for unpaid leave as I have already been hospitalized twice since learning of my pregnancy and there must be a cap on the number of days I take as unpaid. HR told her there is no cap.

I left that meeting feeling very guilty for being pregnant. I asked them what they expected me to do. They are not happy with me being hospitalized or being put off work by my doctor and if they want, I will still come to work, despite my doctor''s orders. They said that they can''t allow that. But my pregnancy is a problem, so what do I do?

I am so terrified that they may not renew my contract next year, based on me having a baby - and they will offcourse not admit this, but can easily say there are no funds and rehire after a few months.

I am feeling very insecure right now. I am even afraid to tell my supervisor that I am going to be hospitalized in the next 3 weeks for some minor surgery to have cervical sutures put in. We''re having a big meeting at the end of Aug and I am terrified that this is the week, my doctor will need to do the sutures. Unfortunately, I don''t have a choice here. I have to do the surgery as soon as possible and this will be that time. I am pregnant with multiples. I have a constant light bleed. My doc has said I should get bed rest whenever I need it, but I am scared to ask for it, even when I am ill. I was told not to make a habit of asking to leave a bit early even if I am unwell. I must also make up the time I take for docs appointments as I go every 2 weeks by either coming early or leaving late.

I am in no position, physically to come in early or leave late. I travel with my hubby because I get very ill in the car and cannot drive and furthermore I have family duties to see to in the evenings.

I am afraid and I don''t want to feel guilty for having babies. Please advise.

Not what you were looking for? Try searching again, or ask your own question
Our expert says:
Expert ImageLabour lawyer

RE: PREGNACY AND FEAR OF DISMISSAL

Once you have used up all your sick leave then you cannot access same again unless the company allows you to do so. Maternity leave is vastly different. If they've been renewing your contract on an annual basis then the non renewal of the contract can be challenged.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

4
Our users say:
Posted by: Labour lawyer | 2010/08/19

RE: PREGNACY AND FEAR OF DISMISSAL

Once you have used up all your sick leave then you cannot access same again unless the company allows you to do so. Maternity leave is vastly different. If they've been renewing your contract on an annual basis then the non renewal of the contract can be challenged.

Reply to Labour lawyer
Posted by: Purple | 2010/08/03

Oh dear. You really are in a tough situation.

Your boss sounds like a bit of a twit. Does it matter whether you do 8 hours of work or not if the required work is completed? If you complete it in 7 hours what are you supposed to do?

Its probably worth your while to contact a labour lawyer for some help on this.

Reply to Purple
Posted by: Blue | 2010/08/03

Hi Purple. My supervisor doesn''t want to agree to me working from home as she says there is no guarantee that I will do 8 hours of work. But she works from home often.

Purple, I am so stressed. I know I will need a lot of hospitalization from month 4 to 7. My doc has told me to be prepared as it will be extremely difficult in my situation.

It''s frighteneing. I am going to have three little ones to care for and the possibility of being without an income, is just so worrying.

Reply to Blue
Posted by: Purple | 2010/08/03

Is there any way that you can work at home?

Are they more interested in the time you sit at your desk or the amount of work you produce?

After you used up all your sick and annual leave, you can get assistance from UIF for up to 6 weeks pay while on unpaid leave for ilness, but this might affect your ability to claim for maternity leave.

They can''t dismiss you for being pregnant or for any reason related to your pregnancy, but it sounds like they will find a convincing way to get rid of you that doesn''t appear related in any way.

Reply to Purple

Have your say

Thanks for commenting! Your comment will appear on the site shortly.
Thanks for commenting! Your comment will appear on the site shortly.
advertisement