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Advice needed - workplace rights while on IUI/IVF

workplace rights while on IUI

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#1 tamts

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Posted 28 August 2013 - 09:13 PM

hello everyone,

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 smile.png


here is my story smile.png

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.



thank you,


#2 Rick


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Posted 29 August 2013 - 01:10 AM

I'm very sorry to read about your situation.


I don't have much to offer for advice. Workplace stress is common for people undergoing treatments and want you to know you are not alone with this type of anxiety. Balancing work and treatments can be a challenge



#3 Heregoesnothing



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Posted 29 August 2013 - 05:45 AM

That sucks...  and it doesn't seem fair one bit.  I would get more info on your what your rights are via the union or HR departement.  This seems like classic discrimination.  What province are you in?  

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#4 me'n'B

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Posted 29 August 2013 - 07:48 AM

Anytime your absent from work for medical reasons they can ask for a doctor's note, but that note does not need to provide explanation for absence. You are allowed up ten days of unpaid personal emergency job protected leave each year. Speak to your hr dept about requiring more time, tak advantage of short term disability if possible. IVF is crazy stressful in comparison to iui, so you might want to take more time. You'll definitely need at least a day to recover. I took minimum er day and et day off but if your job is stressful, anticipate more.
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#5 orchid

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Posted 29 August 2013 - 08:08 AM


Your workplace has no right to know any of your medical information ... the best way to avoid discrimination is to keep your private life to yourself. The company protects its own interests first and foremost. Your family status is protected by the Human Rights Act, in Canada, but adhearance to that varies among companies and enforcement of it is a long drawn out process for those that try to get themselves justice. So, my advice to you is ... find support for your IUI/IVF journey with trusted family members, close friends, a counsellor and here, but not at work. At this point, I would not volunteer any further information, verbally and especially not in writing. I would ask them to provide their detailed request in writting, so that YOU can have 'your legal team' review it before responding.

In terms of attending appointments, use vacation days.

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#6 Red Wine

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Posted 29 August 2013 - 08:49 AM

Only info I would provide is that you have a non-life threatening medical condition you are getting treatment for and provide a doctor's note.  Your medical info is private.

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#7 MB.

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Posted 29 August 2013 - 09:26 AM

Also see about getting your Dr's note from your family physician instead of your RE.  Companies will google the name of your doctor to try to find out more about your condition. 

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#8 RedSiren

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Posted 30 August 2013 - 03:18 PM

Tamt, I am so very sorry you are experiencing this. Provide a doctor's note as requested, but you do not need to provide a lot of detail. 


Having had experience with needing to put an employee on a performance plan (which is what they have done to you), it is vitally important that you are VERY CLEAR about what measurable performance goals they expect you to deliver on, and that you document (in writing via email) any questions you have seeking clarity on those goals, and also document when you meet or exceed those performance goals. 


If because of B/W and scans for the IUI, you are coming in later than normal, be sure you also work that extra time at the end of the day and prove this by saving a few of your emails to send right before you leave, so there is a time stamp on your email and they know you sent it from the office. 


It may very well be due to prejudice in the workplace, but that can be hard to prove and time-consuming to fight wrongful dismissal through the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal.  


You need to act to protect yourself NOW, so they do not have any remote grounds to dismiss you on. Ensure you meet with your boss, your union rep, and HR, and have them go through with you point by point every area of your performance they feel is lacking, and what specifically they are looking for in terms of outcomes (faster turnaround times on deadlines, more accuracy in your work, timeliness at start and finish times, whatever) Ensure they are measurable and not subjective, so you have a target to work towards, and be sure to deliver on those, and ensure you document, document, document because I can guarantee they will be doing the same.  The more you have on file showing you have met or exceeded the performance measurements, the safer you will be. 


Also, most of all, do not use your computer at work to do personal things... they have ways of tracking that, and even if you only log onto the forum for a few minutes, or do your personal banking, they can use that to build a case against you if they want to be really nasty. 


Ultimately, you may want to consider proactively looking for a different job, as it sounds like the current company you are with is not very supportive.  However, in the meantime, do whatever you can to protect yourself.




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#9 tamts

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Posted 30 August 2013 - 05:39 PM

thank you all for replying!! really appreciate all the feedback :) sorry it took me time to reply back.

i already talked with my HR and told him that i'll be checking my rights with Manitoba Employee standards, (i'm from Manitoba) and seems the HR was worried for a minute and said no problem you have the right to check. so i replied to him "its not that i dont trust the company, but i want to check my rights.." (sweet revenge LOL)

don't think it will go to that point, they are not like that but it is sad that it got to that point. i told my HR that is seems very strange that 2 days ago my Boss asked me for the doctor note and a day ago he gave me that note to sign that i need to improve my performance and my apologies i should have mentioned that in that note he did mentioned specific things to improve myself so lets see how it goes, i told my HR that they can be sure that from my side i will the best i can to improve myself, if they decide to lay me off after that, at least i know i've done my part, but for me it seems it has to do with me going through IUI/IVF.

they're all men on our team and i have one girl, which is the QA and she's my best friend.


hopefully things will get better, but at the same time i started to look for a job, don't want to wait until they lay me off, maybe i'm wrong but either way i don't want to stay in that company its NOT worth my emotional health i have much better goal to focus :)


thanks girls good to know i have someone to talk to :)

Happy long weekend!

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#10 Red Wine

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Posted 31 August 2013 - 01:43 PM

It is very hard to be women in the workplace sometimes.  I feel sometimes the men get assigned better tasks and what not and that I have to be better to get the same recognition.  


Best of luck.

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#11 vball_gal

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Posted 02 September 2013 - 04:49 PM

Definitely follow the advice from some of the ladies here and keep a close eye on things.   I was actually let go from my company for "performance" related reasons but it was really because my boss didn't like that I was requiring time for fertility appointments and knew I was going to get pregnant.    It started out with me being referred to the HR rep to provide doctors notes (which should have been enough), then my boss wouldn't meet with me to discuss goal setting, and I was being assigned tasks that were too senior for my position.    In hind site I should have looked outside of the company for help before it got to the point it did, but I was stressed in general and deep down I think I just wanted the package anyway.


Best of luck with your situation and I hope it doesn't turn into anything serious.

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#12 maritimeajs

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 01:12 AM

Hi tamts-- I absolutely agree with Red Siren...especially on the documentation part. Keep detailed written records about who you talk to, when and what was said. Ask for any requests to be in writing...anything that doesn't come in writing, send a follow-up email detailing your understanding of the conversation and the request. Send copies of any emails about your absences and/or performance to a personal email account so that you have copies of all correspondence in case you leave your job suddenly (either by your choice or theirs). I've been through a similar situation, not as the result of IUI/IVF but for another medical issue. The company I worked for demanded full access to my medical information (I refused) and then started fabricating performance issues. I finally quit the company...AND was still able to file a complaint with AB Human Rights (I won) and get employment insurance (which you usually can't do if you quit your job). Feel free to send me a PM if I can help you further.

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We have been together 12 years and haven't gotten pregnant.
1993- DD ( from a previous relationship)
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Jan 10 -Surgery (hysteroscopy and D&C) to remove several uterine polyps
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Mar 2- Start Fragmin injections (for blood clotting disorder) and 21 days (ended up only being 12 days) of BCP (Marvelon)
Mar 20- (changed to Mar 14) Baseline ultrasound and blood tests
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       Mar 22- Stim Day #4: Right side- 4 follicles; Left side- 5 follicles; Estrogen 554
       Mar 25- Stim Day #7: Right side- 6 follicles (three largest- 1.0, 0.9, 0.8cm); Left side- 6 follicles (three largest- 1.1, 1.0, 1.1cm); Estrogen 1883
       Mar 28- Stim Day #10: Right side- 9 follicles (three largest- 1.3, 1.0, 1.2cm); Left side- 7 follicles (three largest- 1.4, 1.4, 1.2cm) ;Estrogen 4874
       Mar 30- Stim Day #12: Right- 9 follicles (three largest- 1.4, 1.1, 1.3cm); Left- 6 follicles (three largest- 1.85, 1.55, 1.3cm); Estrogen 9377
       Apr 1- Stim Day #14: Right- 9 follicles (three largest- 1.65, 1.4, 1.7cm); Left- 6 follicles (three largest- 2.15, 1.95, 1.7cm); Estrogen ? 
Apr 7-10- (changed to Mar 30- Apr 1 Apr 2) HGC injection
Apr 10-12 (changed to Apr 1-3 Apr 4) ER--13 eggs retrieved (7 good, 4 okay, 2 not mature)
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Apr 6- Embryologist report-- 4- 4 cell and 5- 2 cell embryos
Apr 13-15 (changed to Apr 4-6 Apr 7)  Day 3 ET- Transferred best 3- 8 cell embryos. Embryologist thinks 1-2 of the rest will survive to Day 6 to be frozen.
Apr 10- Embryologist report-- 1 survived...but not high enough quality to survive freezing icon_speech_sigh.gif 
Apr 22- Urine pregnancy test- BFN
Devastated... more than I thought I'd be. Not sure where we go from here...

IVF #2:

Jul 21 Start BCP and Fragmin

Aug 4 Start Suprefact

Aug 6 Start Gonal F 450 IU

Aug 12 Stim Day #7: Right side- 7 (three largest- 0.85, 0.9, 0.9cm);  follicles; Left side- 7 follicles (three largest- 0.65, 0.7, 0.75cm); Estrogen 2,844

Aug 15 Stim Day #10: Right side- 9 follicles (three largest- 1.3, 1.1, 1.1cm); Left side- 7 follicles (three largest- 1.1, 1.1, 0.9cm) ;Estrogen 8,080

     Gonal F reduced to 300 IU (risk of OHSS)

Aug 17 Stim Day #12: Right side- 9 follicles (three largest- 1.8, 1.55, 1.5cm); Left side- 7 follicles (three largest- 1.2, 1.35, 1.6cm) ;Estrogen 15,891

     Goanl F reduced to 0 IU

Aug 18 Stim Day #13 Right side- 9 follicles (three largest- 1.75, 2.0, 1.55cm); Left side- 7 follicles (three largest- 1.7, 1.5, 1.5cm) ;Estrogen 16,152

Aug 18 HCG injection and start Dostinex (for risk of OHSS)

Aug 20 ER- 15 eggs retrieved (10 good, 3 maybes, 2 not mature)

Aug 21 Embryologist report- 12 eggs fertilized naturally

Aug 22 Embryologist report- "slow", everything is only at 2 cell stage except one 4 cell embryo...not what they'd like to see sad.png

Aug 23 Day 3 ET- Transferred 3 "perfect" 8 cell embryos. Two of the remaining are only 4 cell and not expect to do much. The rest are 6, 7, and 8 cell and hopefully some will survive to freeze... will find out on Monday, Aug 26

Aug 27 Embryologist report- Froze 4 day 6 blasts (1 was starting to hatch) on Aug 26,  Froze 1 day 7 blast today smile.png

Sep 5 HPT-- BFN sad.png 

Sep 7 Urine Pregnancy test (probably won't get the results until Monday, Sept 9)-- BFN

Oct 11 WTF appointment

FET #1:

Dec 2 Transferred 2 Day 6 blasts (Still have 3 frozen)

Dec 15 Urine pregnancy test