One woman’s claim that she was forced to use sick days and quickly return to work after giving birth has her viewers outraged.
In a viral video that has amassed over 894,600 views and thousands of comments, TikToker Grace (@turnyourheadandcoffman) shared her experience of not having maternity leave at work.
The clip began with a stitched video by another TikToker who asked some critical questions.
“Why are we making pregnant women work?” the man in the video asked. “Why don’t we have maternity leave?”
Grace then chimed in with her own take on the issue.
The woman claimed that she used to work for a baby company that was founded because the owner was working in the medical field and didn’t have enough leave after giving birth.
“She quit and started this business,” the TikToker said.
Grace said she and her boss got pregnant at the same time. When the TikToker discovered she didn’t have adequate maternity leave while working for the company created to address that very issue, she was especially outraged.
“First of all, the sick leave that she offered? Legal minimum,” she said. “If she could’ve offered less, she would’ve.”
The maternity leave? Well, that was non-existent.
“We don’t offer maternity leave,” the owner’s husband reportedly said. “You could use your sick time as your maternity leave if you’d like.”
Meanwhile, the company’s owner took off after the birth of her own baby.
Grace also reported that even though she had a c-section and was in a “windowless NICU” for a month during the pandemic, she still had to immediately return to work after getting out of the hospital.
“I had ACL surgery two years prior to that; I had more post-op care,” the woman continued. “I had post-op care up the wazoo.”
Comparatively, the woman reported that she only had one appointment after her c-section.
@turnyourheadandcoffman #stitch with @ make it make sense #roevwade #womenshealth #motherhood #sahmsoftiktok #momsoftiktok #womenshealthmatters #americanhealthcare #americanhealthcaresystem #postpartum #postpartumrecovery #workingmom ♬ original sound – Grace
In the comments section, many shared their own stories about not having maternity leave.
“I’m a labor & delivery nurse, literally work somewhere where we SPECIALIZE in women and I don’t get maternity leave,” user Sara Barton commented. “Been saving PTO for like 3 years.”
“I’m a HS teacher and same,” another user wrote. “Used all of my sick leave AND had to pay for a sub out of pocket. Had an emergency csection and was only out 6 weeks.”
“I work at a daycare & they don’t offer maternity leave,” user Jessie Jaxx said. “They told me to make sure I start looking into fmla so I can get some kind of leave.”
There is currently no federal law that guarantees paid maternity leave. The Family and Medical Leave Act provides certain employees with 12 weeks of unpaid leave “for certain family and medical reasons,” including the birth and care of a newborn. However, 11 states, including California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, and Massachusetts, have passed leave laws that include paid maternity leave.
The Daily Dot reached out to Grace via TikTok comment for more information.