Dilbert On Maternity Leave
October 2012

I have a perfect use for the BIC pens "For Her", as promoted by Ellen DeGeneres: my employer should hand them out to new moms, so moms could use them to figure out their pay while on leave. One might think a company with almost 10,000 employees could figure out maternity pay. But I'm certain Dilbert's co-workers administered my maternity leave.

Let's count how many times my employer got it wrong for me, noting I'm not the only employee who's had problems. M is my employer; L is the subcontractor responsible for administering leaves of absence.

  1. M's payroll started my maternity leave payments one week late. They didn't tell me. They didn't tell L. They didn't even tell M's human resources.
  2. When my maternity payments should have ended, California asked me about my pay status. I wasn't sure because M hadn't sent me pay stubs in a long time, so I asked.
    • M's payroll claimed couldn't tell me because I was on leave.
    • M's human resources told me, but they told me the wrong thing: They told me what I would be getting paid if I were working full time, which I wasn't.
    • L's rep referred me to a different department at L, adding days of delay.
    • The second L rep told me what L told M to pay me, but didn't know what payroll had actually paid.
    My inquiries had come full circle.
  3. Then I got email from the admin for M's vice president of human resources. Great! M wants to fix things! I explained my problems, including how no single person seemed to understand the whole process. They audited my pay... and concluded that I had been overpaid, since I received one week of maternity pay after it should have ended but didn't notice I had been paid the correct amount, just a week late. So M docked me.
  4. But M docked me at my post-raise pay scale, not the pre-raise pay scale used to calculate my maternity pay. I asked why.
  5. M never explained, but on the next pay period, they paid me for an extra week thus (correctly) undoing the results of their previous audit.
  6. Along the way, M also paid me a day of holiday pay, and deducted it the following pay period. Again, no explanation.

Finally, I put the pieces together. On my own time. If there's a next time, M should get me a pen.

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Last updated 27 October 2012
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