Infertility: rights in the workplace
Posted 13 September 2012 - 08:35 PM
I work for a very large Candian organization. I have been going through ongoing infertility treatment this past year and have had numerous absences due to several procedures related to infertility (embryo retrieval, transfer, endo biopsies) and a miscarriage that ended in a d&c. I have not told my employer about the infertility, but have provided notes for the related absences. My employer is aware of the miscarriage, though.
What are my rights as an employee? Is infertility a diagnosed medical illness that would be recognized as a legit reason for absences?
Thank you for your help!
- gibasgirl likes this
Posted 13 September 2012 - 09:37 PM
>Me-dont ovulate all the time and I have poor egg quality
>DH-low sperm count
>Jan 23 2009 miscarrage natural conception no fertility treatments
>3 Back to back IUI's June to August of 2009. All BFN
>1st IVF/ICSI November 2009
>10 eggs collected 6 fertilized 2 put back none to freeze
>AF one week later BFN
>2nd IVF/ICSI Feburary 2011
>11 eggs collected 8 fertalized 2 put back none to freeze
>Got AF so I went for a blood test. Levels came back at 41 so they thought I was having a miscarrage. Went back 2 days later and levels were at 46 so they thought I wasnt micarrying proper and might need a D&C. Went back 6 days later levels shot up to 184 so they thought I passed 1 embryo but was pregnant with the other. Went back 2 days later levels down to 169 got AF 2 days later.
>This is when they said I have poor egg quality.
> Decided to go a head with donor embryo cycle at PNWF in Seattle.
>started Lupron feb 26 2012 and started out donor embryo cycle
>March 6 and 20 lining looks great all set for a march 28 transfer
>show up with full badder March 28 to find out the embryos we chose didn't make the thaw. Picked new ones and they looked great! Transferred 2 beautiful blasts that afternoon.
>First beta April 7 number was 718!! BFP!
>Second beta April 9 number was 1286! Looking good
>had a huge bleed so I went for my u/s. have a clot but also a baby with a heart beat! Clot shouldnt cause any problems but might be around for the first trimester.
>Follow up u/s May 9th
>Follow up u/s went great HB of 157! Clot getting smaller.
>another u/s booked for May 23
>u/s went great again! HB of 163! Baby moved a lot for us very exciting! Dr could no longer find clot. Good news!
>EDD December 14 2012!
>Baby couldn't wait and decided to come early.
>Water broke and my baby boy Logan James was born on November 13th!
>He was 6lbs 12oz! Not bad for almost 5 weeks early!
>Spent 5 days in the NICU and a total of a week in hospital
Posted 14 September 2012 - 12:19 AM
3 CONSECUTIVE IVF CYCLES AT 43 YEARS OLD = 16 eggs > 13 embryos > 10 transferred > 1 BABY!!!!
Years of anovulation (but this has saved me some eggs for my 40's!) and decreased count/motility.
4 years of trying naturally and tests - then surprise pregnancy in 2003, DD born 11/2003
6 cycles of clomid/iui - BFN, 2 cycles of FSH/IUI - x2 chemical pregnancy, 1 cycle of FSH/IUI - bfp! DS born 08/2006
2009 I decide I want another. Crazy I know - DH has had Vx.
2012 DH finally on board. Has TESE (super ouch).
03/12 and 04/12: FSH = 5, AFC = 4
IVF#1 - June 2012 - long lupron, 300 Bravelle, 150 Menopur, ICSI - 10 follicles, 3 eggs (WTF??), 2 fertilized, transferred 2 Day 3 4-cells - bfn.
IVF#2 - Aug/Sept 2012 - flare, 450 Bravelle, ICSI, 5 eggs, 4 fertilized, transferred 4 (2 8-cell, 2 10-cell) - chemical
IVF#3 - LAST CHANCE FOR ROMANCE![/b]
Oct/Nov 2012 - flare, lupron BID, 450 Bravelle, ICSI
Sept 15 - start BCP
Oct 11 - endo biopsy
Oct 14 - last BCP
Oct 17 - baseline: E2=286, start lupron microdose twice daily
Oct 19 - start 450 Bravelle
Oct 24 - U/S: 7 10mm follicles, bw: E2=964
Oct 26 - U/S, bw 9 follicles (all 10 -16mm), bw: E2=1867, lining: 9mm
Oct 28, u/s, bw 9 follicles (1 @10mm, 7 @16-17mm, 1 @23.5mm), bw: 3600+, lining: 10mm
Oct 29, u/s, bw 9 follicles (1 @12mm, 8 @18-21mm), bw: 5500+, lining: 10mm - trigger AND 450 Bravelle!
Oct 31 - ER 8 eggs!
Nov 1 - 7 fertilised!
Nov 2 - three grade 2 (all 4-cell), two grade 3 (2-cell and 5-cell) and two grade 4 (all 5-cell)
Nov 3 -two grade 2 (all 8-cell), four grade 3 (8-cell and 10-cell) and one grade 4 (6-cell)
Nov 4 - four good morulas, one border-line quality morula, two 10-cell embies
Nov 5 - ET of 2 blasts (2BB, 3BA), one cavitating morula and one other crap morula - NO FROSTIES!
Nov 10 - Day 10 - HPT ---- BFP!
Nov 14 - beta = 78
Nov 16 - beta = 179
Dec 7 - first u/s! 7w2d: CRL=10mm, HR=139
Dec 11 - first appt w/ high risk OB & another in office u/s (all good)
Dec 18 - u/s 8w6d: CRL=21mm, HR=172
Dec 27 - genetic testing and consult
Jan 11 - nuchal testing and IPS with soft markers (FTS) (for fun as will have already done NIPS) - NT=1.19mm = PERFECT
Jan 21 - 13w5d on u/s - we are having a boy!!!!!
July 24 - due! induced on July 6th - healthy, 7 lbs 2 oz at 37w3d - can't believe this happened!!
Posted 14 September 2012 - 05:36 AM
- Laura1976 likes this
Posted 14 September 2012 - 05:48 AM
I decided not to disclose to my employer what I was doing - even though my boss is female and has two children herself. I preferred to keep it quiet and not have to share information. I simply told them I was having a medical procedure, that I needed "x" amount of days off and that I would be using vacation time. They never asked any questions and, by law, they aren't allowed to. Someone else posted on this board that IVF, IUI, etc are all considered "elective procedures". I'm not sure if this is right or not, simply because I haven't researched it. For me, I was too afraid of my employer saying No to having time off for IVF and then having to lie about why I was taking time off.
- gibasgirl likes this
January 12, 2016 - Baby Lucas born (38w3d) 5lbs10oz, 19.5 in long! We are so in love!
Posted 14 September 2012 - 06:32 AM
- Highest hopes likes this
Posted 14 September 2012 - 06:57 AM
- impatient, gibasgirl, Laura1976 and 2 others like this
I am 38, DH - 39
Genetic - IVF&PGD to prevent Genetic Disorder
IVF #1 - Nov/08 - MC @ 6 weeks, no embryos frozen
IVF #2 - Aug/09 - bfn
IUI #1 - Feb/10 - ectopic
PRIDE - Apr/10
Homestudy - July/10
Given the gift of donor embryos - Jan/12
Donor FET Jun/12 - 9 weeks - no heartbeat... MC
Donor FET Oct/12 - we're PG
===> Beautiful baby boy born 2013
Donor FET Oct/16 - chemical
April 2017 - surprise PG
===> Beautiful baby girl born 2017
Posted 04 October 2012 - 12:57 AM
Posted 04 October 2012 - 11:39 AM
Can you make it more clear...........so can we be off from work as sick if we are going through ivf cycle the 2ww period??
It sounds like it depends on whether you expect to use vacation time off versus sick time off - and whether you only want to maintain your job (and don't want to be paid during the time off) or you want to use sick time and get paid for it - the scenarios are all different - and if you want to use your sick time and get paid for it, that is the most restrictive and an employer can then request a medically necessary note to that effect from a physician - I can't imagien a doctor thinking you needed to be off during a 2 week wait - but I guess that largely depends on your type of employment - very physical labor or some dangerous fumes or something would be vastly different than an office job.
Posted 13 October 2012 - 10:07 PM
Posted 13 October 2012 - 10:15 PM
And just state you had to have a medical procedure...and don't relate it to inferility...
- gibasgirl and aunit like this
Posted 13 October 2012 - 10:33 PM
I had used my 10 sick days allotted in a calendar year in 2011 for consultations, testing, minor procedures and part of the cycling for my first IUI that wasn't during my holidays time. (There is no local option for ART where I live, so I had to commute.) At this point I contacted the HR for my company to discuss my rights and how I was supposed to pursue the treatment. I was told that I did not need to tell my employer anything as long as I had a doctor's note confirming medical procedures and also the fact that I could not pursue treatment locally (the travel time required in addition to what I was having done.) HR would determine if I qualified for a medical leave (using my banked sick days I had accumulated over the past decade at my company - we never can use them after the calendar year is over, unless you have doctor confirmation accepted by HR demonstrating you will need to go past the 10 days allotted for surgery, etc.)
I was told that legally, my employer had no right to know what was wrong with me - but that they needed confirmation from my doctor to validate my absence and use of sick days/medical leave. With that note, they could not question me or refuse to give me sick days. However, I do remember my doctor had to confirm if it was physical or psychological to my insurance company.
HR had very few questions for me. They accepted all the doctor's information. It helped that my doctor is very familiar with my clinic and had referred me there a long time earlier, telling me it was the closest and also my best option for treatment. I had enough days to cover an IVF cycle as well. After this time, I would have taken a hit on my salary and benefits, but would have had my job 'held' for me (while another replacement continued to fill in) if I chose to consider pursuing medical treatment, but they only hold your job for one year from the start time of your leave.
There is lots of great advice in this thread. I would think retrievals, hystos, etc. should certainly qualify as they are a version of surgical procedures and many choose to take pain/anxiety medication for these procedures, rendering it impossible to work, drive, etc. plus the recovery. I guess it depends on the forms and how things need to be justified. I found the forms I was faxed to take to my doctor really gave the power to the doctor and their direction, which was nice.
Let us know what happens! FX everything works out well and in your favour It would be nice if at least this major aspect of the journey could be softer on people and with less stress/worry.
- gibasgirl, MB. and Want2bmamma like this
Posted 14 October 2012 - 07:45 AM
Posted 14 October 2012 - 09:24 AM
I have been advised very strongly that there are repercussions for bosses who mistreat employees or label them as 'unreliable' due to their validated absences due to medical issues. They have no right to judge and differentiate their treatment of you or your job in this scenario. However I know then that the worry is often, if I try to put my boss in line and carry out my rights, will it bite me further in the end because the boss will be furious to have his/her wrists slapped? Which is all the more additional stress so unfortunate to have and consider.
Is there anyone you can ask for advice within your company? I spoke to the Health and Wellness head of HR - if you work for a large company I'm sure there is some version of this person. If you aren't aware of who they are, is there a website or phone directory you can search through for certain job titles that could be of assistance to you? Or your local doctor? It was my personal doctor locally who was great and tipped me off about things to be careful about when talking to HR and insurance about medical leaves - they believed in me and understood what I was going through, and have been responsible for filling out these forms for hundreds of people over the years in a variety of jobs and scenarios. There was also someone within my company I spoke to (also at HR) that informed me of my rights and things my employer absolutely could not do. My initial boss at the time was a jerk but by the time I actually got into my clinic, I had a new boss who very respectfully followed all guidelines.
It was very difficult for me to look into getting additional time off work. Work has been my life for almost 15 years and in that time I had consistently put myself, my health and needs last because I thought that was the best way to be. When it came to infertility, I finally realized I had no hope whatsoever if I continued to live for my job or other people who could be angry at me. I had to choose to let other people down and put myself in awkward, scary situations in order to proceed with my treatment. I realize in my situation, it played out quite well and that for others, it is not that easy and can be very difficult to go through. But at the end of your life, you have yourself, your family, and your reflections on how you treat others versus how they treat you. I have a strong feeling that in the long run, the difficult days will hopefully be outweighed by the positives we achieve, no matter how long we wait or what may occur before we find a pathway toward what we want the most. Hang in there and put yourself first. You, my dear, deserve it.
- gibasgirl likes this
Posted 14 October 2012 - 11:58 AM
You are right we deserve to put ourselves first. I completely agree with this and this is why I don't care anymore. That said, I have my DH and DS to worry about and I need my job.
Posted 14 October 2012 - 12:18 PM
All the best.
- aunit likes this
Posted 14 October 2012 - 01:27 PM
I also felt the need (and desire) to keep my circumstances as private as possible (beyond HR and my doctor.)
The entire situation is such a catch-22 and we are often boxed in, in so many ways. I wish I had a magic wand to make it all better.
- gibasgirl likes this
Posted 28 August 2013 - 07:01 PM
i'm new to this site and first of all wish all the sweet girls here a short cycle and a crying baby in your hands soon
here is my story
around May this year my husband and I were about to start IUI, i decided to talk with my Boss, since i didnt want to be stressed out from not telling at work and going ttrough IUI process which is stressful enough.
so on may i talked with my Boss and the HR in our company and explained to them that i need the company flexibility because i'll be starting fertility treatment.
so my Boss, which is married but no kids understood and told me to give them the heads up once i know the date of my IUI, it was all fine until my second IUI that was unsuccessful.
i had a talk with my boss and he asked me to provide him a letter that is generic and indicating that for the next treatment i'll have to be absence from work because of IUI or IVF. my first question is the workplace allowed to ask that? i told my boss that i will provide him that note of course.
i have noticed that since May i didn't had so many projects coming in (I work as a web developer) and today he came to me asking me for a doctor note saying "it's not that we don't trust you but we need a note from the clinic indicating that this month you'll have to be so and so because of the IUI", and today on top of everything he called me again and told me that my performance is very low and i need to work on few things to be more efficient. and he gave me a paper from HR to sign on that i have 60 days to improve myself on those specif things at work.
i need some advise please because i'm under the impression that they are using the performance as the backup to dismiss me, but I have a feeling this attitude is coming from that i told them i'm going through IUI.