• By Dana Sparks

MAYO CLINIC RADIO

March 21, 2015
Dr. Limburg, Dr. Shives and Tracy McCray with Mayo Clinic Radio pictured doing the #StrongArmSelfie for colorectal cancer awareness

(L-R) Mayo Clinic Radio co-hosts Tracy McCray and Dr. Tom Shives with Dr. Paul Limburg #StrongArmSelfie

 

Colon cancer remains the second-leading cause of cancer death among both men and women in the U.S. On this week's program, we hear about #strongarmselfie, the social media campaign to raise awareness and funds for a cure. Gastroenterologist Dr. Paul Limburg explains why the best tescolon cancer metst for colon cancer is the one you get. Also on the program, physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist Dr. Allen Brown discusses why older adults are as vulnerable as athletes to traumatic brain injury. And we'll have suggestions for choosing palliative care from general internal medicine specialist Dr. Jacob Strand.

Myth or Matter-of-Fact: African-Americans are at the same risk as other groups for colon cancer.

Mayo Clinic Radio is available on iHeart Radio.

Click here to listen to the program on Saturday, March 21, at 9:05 a.m., and follow #MayoClinicRadio.

To find and listen to archived shows, click here.

Mayo Clinic Radio is a weekly one-hour radio program highlighting health and medical information from Mayo Clinic. The show is taped for rebroadcast by some affiliates.

I'm not sure I understand the question about 40 hours of PTO for maternity leave. If you're pregnant for 9 months, that's approx. 18 pay periods. Even if you only earned 4 hours per pay period, that's still 72 hours… Maybe I don't understand the concern?

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@christinasantamaria

I'm not sure I understand the question about 40 hours of PTO for maternity leave. If you're pregnant for 9 months, that's approx. 18 pay periods. Even if you only earned 4 hours per pay period, that's still 72 hours… Maybe I don't understand the concern?

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If a woman takes time off for maternity leave, she is responsible for up to 7 weeks (1 of these weeks being the STD waiting period,) while Mayo covers the other 5 (a total of 12 weeks.) Depending on your position and the length of your service at Mayo, the 5 weeks may or may not be covered at 100% pay rate (some people only receive 50% pay for part of this time.) A mother with a 1.0 FTE would have to save 280 hours of PTO to cover the entire 7 weeks they are responsible for. A mother with a 0.8 FTE would be responsible for 224 hours. Of course, this time could be taken unpaid, but I truly don't know many people who can afford to take 7 weeks unpaid from work. During this time, you are still responsible for all of the normal deductions from your paycheck (insurance, DAHLC membership, etc.) If you take this unpaid, you are responsible for paying in for these things. I think the person who asked the question is wondering why maternity leave is treated the same as everything else that you would take time off for- be it injury, chronic health issues, family leave. As someone who has struggled with chronic pain in the past and who has now had a baby herself, it was incredibly frustrating to have to cover the extra week for my waiting period. To accrue that amount of PTO is challenging and it means I have to choose between not paying or paying myself for the regular holidays throughout the year. Then if I don't have enough PTO, I have to decide to pay/not pay myself for my maternity leave or to come back early after having a baby. Note, the average employee who works an 8 hour shift and uses their PTO for holidays will use at least 48 hours on the Mayo recognized holidays throughout the year. Okay, I will get off my soapbox now.

COMMENT
@christinasantamaria

I'm not sure I understand the question about 40 hours of PTO for maternity leave. If you're pregnant for 9 months, that's approx. 18 pay periods. Even if you only earned 4 hours per pay period, that's still 72 hours… Maybe I don't understand the concern?

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The question isn't about saving the 40 hours. It's that you have to save 40 hours on top of the 6 weeks if you want income during your entire 12 weeks of FMLA after giving birth. The mother will use 40 hours of PTO before you are paid through short term disability (recovery time from birth, often a total of 6 weeks). You can be home with your baby for an additional 6 weeks but only get paid if you have 6 more weeks of PTO saved up. For allied health employees it takes more than 12 months with no days off to save 7 weeks of PTO.

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I can speak from personal experience about how difficult it is to return to work 7 weeks after giving birth by cesarean section. And I was extremely fortunate that my baby was an excellent sleeper at 7 weeks. Was not ideal for continuing breastfeeding for certain. I was so exhausted I didn't even realize how exhausted I was until my baby was a year old and I actually had time off again. Mayo is in line with much of the US in this regards but the US is far behind progressive European countries–actually the entire industrialized world, with regards to maternity leave, and family leave.

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In my opinion, the PTO/holiday system needs an overhaul. I've never worked at a job before where I wasn't guaranteed paid holidays. It is common courtesy afforded to employees in this day and age…Surely there is something that the Mayo Clinic can afford. While I'm incredibly grateful that I now work at Mayo; When I worked at Charter Communications all full-time employees were afforded paid holidays, comparable PTO, and we were given a bank of "sick time" that accrued at a slower rate that vacation PTO. I didn't find myself scraping together PTO, choosing to take holidays unpaid, or constantly having to make sure I'll be okay to leave on vacation like I do here.

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I certainly don't like the 40 hour waiting period since it was imposed either, but that being said…..most often getting pregnant is a choice. Why should this be different than someone who needs emergency surgery and needs to be out for 6 weeks or more and does not have a choice in the matter? I don't think you can just make an exception for pregnancy.

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@maryebe

I certainly don't like the 40 hour waiting period since it was imposed either, but that being said…..most often getting pregnant is a choice. Why should this be different than someone who needs emergency surgery and needs to be out for 6 weeks or more and does not have a choice in the matter? I don't think you can just make an exception for pregnancy.

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But the person who has emergency surgery and needs to be out for more than 6 weeks will usually get paid 100% depending on the amount of hours you have available for STD. Some would have up to 13 weeks of STD paid for emergency surgery if they needed. I think bottom line is that birth of baby maybe needs to have STD longer than 6 weeks, some daycares won't even accommodate babies of this age anymore.

COMMENT
@christinasantamaria

I'm not sure I understand the question about 40 hours of PTO for maternity leave. If you're pregnant for 9 months, that's approx. 18 pay periods. Even if you only earned 4 hours per pay period, that's still 72 hours… Maybe I don't understand the concern?

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Actually, for most people who work regular 8 hour shifts, Mayo requires us to take more than 48 hours of our yearly PTO for Mayo required days off, particularly if you work in a non-clinical area. I don't see it as an issue with the standard holidays (New Year's, Memorial, etc.), but when I'm asked, or sometimes required, to take time between Christmas and New Year's, even though PTO wasn't increased when this change was made, I get a bit bent. I appreciate our PTO bucket (instead of having a separate sick time leave, etc.), but I'd like to have more control over how it's used.

COMMENT
@jordanhuisman

In my opinion, the PTO/holiday system needs an overhaul. I've never worked at a job before where I wasn't guaranteed paid holidays. It is common courtesy afforded to employees in this day and age…Surely there is something that the Mayo Clinic can afford. While I'm incredibly grateful that I now work at Mayo; When I worked at Charter Communications all full-time employees were afforded paid holidays, comparable PTO, and we were given a bank of "sick time" that accrued at a slower rate that vacation PTO. I didn't find myself scraping together PTO, choosing to take holidays unpaid, or constantly having to make sure I'll be okay to leave on vacation like I do here.

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I don't understand why this keeps coming up time after time. The "Holiday Pay" is already built into the about of PTO you are given each year. Perhaps it would be easier for people to understand if Mayo just took away 48 hours of your PTO and instead "paid" you for each of the federal holidays? Either way it's all the same. They aren't going to give you both extra PTO and Holiday pay.

COMMENT
@maryebe

I certainly don't like the 40 hour waiting period since it was imposed either, but that being said…..most often getting pregnant is a choice. Why should this be different than someone who needs emergency surgery and needs to be out for 6 weeks or more and does not have a choice in the matter? I don't think you can just make an exception for pregnancy.

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And the person who adopts a baby (and needs those 12 weeks just as much) gets zero STD. The policy draws an unfortunate distinction between "physically" being unable to work vs. needing time off for other important human reasons.

COMMENT
@maryebe

I certainly don't like the 40 hour waiting period since it was imposed either, but that being said…..most often getting pregnant is a choice. Why should this be different than someone who needs emergency surgery and needs to be out for 6 weeks or more and does not have a choice in the matter? I don't think you can just make an exception for pregnancy.

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And as an aside, those of us who adopt do not get any STD paid time off. We have to use PTO for any of the 12 week FMLA that we want to get paid for.

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Ok – I'm not looking to get beat-up about this, but, when did 12 weeks become a standard for maternity leave? Yes, I'm older, but when I had my child 8 weeks was the MAX you were allowed to be gone. Especially in the spring/summer months. Is 12 weeks required now? Or does everyone just want to have 12 weeks so they have more time off and to recover? Just asking if this is a medical necessity or personal desire.

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@terrihyle

I can speak from personal experience about how difficult it is to return to work 7 weeks after giving birth by cesarean section. And I was extremely fortunate that my baby was an excellent sleeper at 7 weeks. Was not ideal for continuing breastfeeding for certain. I was so exhausted I didn't even realize how exhausted I was until my baby was a year old and I actually had time off again. Mayo is in line with much of the US in this regards but the US is far behind progressive European countries–actually the entire industrialized world, with regards to maternity leave, and family leave.

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I fully agree, as someone who just had a baby in Sept, I had to utilize 40hrs of PTO then got my 5 weeks of STD, then I had to cut my maternity leave short or take it unpaid, because I didn't know I didn't have 12 weeks paid off. Why is it different for surgical leave, versus maternity leave? I came back early so I could maintain getting paid and I did not like that. And now I really have no PTO left because of my leave, and if I or my little one gets sick I cant/ won't get paid for that, as I have no PTO … This is very frustrating.

COMMENT
@christinasantamaria

I'm not sure I understand the question about 40 hours of PTO for maternity leave. If you're pregnant for 9 months, that's approx. 18 pay periods. Even if you only earned 4 hours per pay period, that's still 72 hours… Maybe I don't understand the concern?

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Well said, Sara. Furthermore, generally the age range of having children typically means that the person doesn't have a lot of years vested at Mayo Clinic, so to accrue an entire week (especially if they have other children) is incredibly tough to do. With that said, I think the policy should be reviewed again to be in full advocacy of working parents. Three days is a reasonable timeframe to accrue PTO before FMLA starts. Here's a great map that shows a comparison of maternity leave around the world and how the United States has some work to do to support women in the workforce that have families. https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2014/06/good-job-america-a-map-of-maternity-leave-policies-around-the-world/373117/

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Now I'm wondering if Mayo has significant numbers of people paid less than $10/hr in AZ? Or anywhere?

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