A company didn’t offer paid maternity leave so new mom Emily Manley took a better job for her young family. But now her former employer is charging her thousands of dollars and wants the hefty bill paid in full right away.

WHO-TV reports, Manley’s ex-employer expects her to pay the company back for her health care and paid time off after switching jobs during her unpaid maternity leave.

The new mother is speaking out after she finds herself crunching numbers to find a way to pay a bill that’s over $2,600 by the end of June.

Manley told the station after giving birth to 3-month-old Jettson, her family isn’t prepared for the unexpected expense.

The woman told Yahoo, that she turned to the Federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) for three months because she didn’t have paid maternity leave to be with her newborn.

Manley was sent a bill when she gave her two weeks notice of her resignation. The 30-year-old told the station:

“It was kind of a shock. I wasn’t prepared for it. I wasn’t ready for it, but I knew it was a possibility. I didn’t know it would happen that fast and that I would have to pay it back that fast.”

Her former employer, who she doesn’t want to name, billed her for taking all of her time off about a month before beginning her FMLA leave on  February 6.

During her time off, which she was required to use for FMLA, she received a better job offer. Manley explained:

“As part of FMLA you are required to take all of your [paid time off] prior to the unpaid portion of leave. So I was given the [paid time off] on January 1, required to take it in February.”

She continued:

“While on leave I saw an opening with a company that I had worked with previously and they offer benefits that are much better for a young family. This new position is healthier for me, our son and my family.”

She started her new job on April 23.


According to Iowa’s FMLA policy, employers have the right to recover healthcare costs if the mother does not return to work because she decides to quit for any reason that is not related to a serious health condition or circumstances beyond her control.

Manley said, she hopes her story will help other mothers in the same situation. She told WHO-TV:

“If there are other women going through this, you’re not alone. I didn’t work for a large corporation that you would expect something like this to happen. It was a smaller owned local company that you wouldn’t think would exercise that sort of right that they have.”

The mother concluded by saying she understands the company’s point of view, but at the same time, $2,600 is a lot of money to her family.

Watch the video below:

About the author

Tiffani is a writer for Dearly. She is from New York City. Prior to working for Dearly she covered fashion news and managed social media for various digital media outlets.

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