Dear Ate Helen, need some advice on a very sensitive matter. I was supposed to go on a leave of absence (LOA) one month before my delivery date because my OB told me that travelling from Alabang to QC just to get to work, with all the traffic, is bad for my pregnancy. So I applied for an LOA with the BPO where I work. One week later, our OM tells me that my LOA was rejected, because the medical certificate I provided was missing the personal number of my OB. I told them that I go to a public hospital, and my OB is not a private doctor, and that she does not want to give out her number (What I don’t get is that the med-cert already has the name of the hospital, its address, the hospital numbers, the name of my OB, her license number, and a seal. Not sure how much proof they need, but it looks like this should be enough). I’ll give birth in a few weeks, and I don’t really know what to do next (Also, I’m about to become a single mom, and I really need to have a job to come back to after I deliver my baby). -Grace, Quezon City BPO
Dear Grace, it seems that you are working for a BPO that has policies that are highly oppressive against women. I understand the need to get the mobile number of your OB, this is so that your HR can validate if your doctor has indeed advised you to take a rest a month before you deliver your baby. But rejecting your LOA because of a missing mobile number, that is just absolutely unacceptable. You said that you have submitted a med-cert that has the hospital name where your OB holds a clinic, including the hospital phone numbers – this at the very least allows your HR to check on things, and even quite possibly, to find and contact your doctor.
But given the above, I’d like you to do something that some people may find not acceptable. You are in a very weak position given that you will give birth soon, and it will be very hard for you to file complaints and go through the process of prosecuting your case. So I’d like to suggest that you just fulfill the requirement of your HR, and find a way to give the number of your OB, so you can get the LOA.
After you give birth, and after your life has stabilized, I also suggest that you try to find another BPO to work for – one that is known in the industry to have good and fair HR practices.
On a side note, you will be a single mom soon, and your capacity to raise your child in this world will be dependent on how well you perform professionally. You need to up your game, and strive to be the best in what you do so you can be promoted frequently. Good luck! –Ate H.
Need advice? Send Ate Helen an email at firstname.lastname@example.org