The War Room
Question
Post

Can sales reps actually take paternity leave?

Is it common for salespeople to fully shut down work when taking paternity leave? I'm taking a couple of months per my employer's formal leave policy, but management essentially said I have to continue working my pipeline during that time. For context, I've been a top performer at the company for several years and this is my first child.

🧢 Sales Management
🤓 Sales Tech
😳 Ethics
23
CaneWolf
Politicker
+12
Call me what you want, just sign the damn contract
YES, you absolutely can. And we all need you to. What management said is sooooooo illegal.
Salespreuner
Big Shot
+11
Regional Sales Director
Absolutely yess!!! 
swizard
Celebrated Contributor
+9
Sales Evangelist
Absolutely! 
MrEffWord
Opinionated
+3
Regional Sales Manager
SUPER FUCKING ILLEGAL
paddy
WR Officer
+10
Account Executive
Jeeez that's brutal, especially since you're a top performer. Ass holes. I'd check your legal rights though 
TheFemaleWolf
Opinionated
+3
Director of Sales
I don't have any children yet, but from a position of sales leadership now/someone who gave up my entire 20s to live, eat, & breathe work wolf of wall street style.... take the time!! You can't get it back and if your current company doesn't support that there are a million other amazing companies and leadership teams that will. The world is changing... go make your money and prioritize your family in this time. 
Br
Brittas
VP of Sales
This is a great point.  I'm a dad of 5 kids, and while I was entitled to 2 weeks leave for each child, it was never a consideration when the numbers were being tallied at the end of the qtr.  The pressure was immense, and sullied an otherwise amazing time of our lives.  In recent times in Europe, new laws have come in to enforce and protect employees on paternity leave.  Its so important for you, your new baby, and most importantly supporting your partner.  As I look back on my career to those times, and if I was to do it again, I know I'd take more time, as you'll never get to do it again with your family.  
Sales, Quota's, Commission, will all be there for you, when you get back to work, and you will be the richer for the experience, as no amount of commission can buy back that time!.....
TheFemaleWolf
Opinionated
+3
Director of Sales
For the record, I don't regret a single second of my 20s and my career catapulted because I was tunnel vision focused and busted my a$$ in sales as an individual contributor. Tons of fun and good money but as I get older and it comes to family, I wouldn't endorse people putting work over that especially in those early months. From everyone I know who has done that, they always say they regret not taking the time. When the time comes for me, that's why I will enjoy it and worry about the rest later. 
SalesPharaoh
Politicker
+8
AM BDR
I guess that is a question best directed to HR/laws of the territory you belong too. In Egypt it's just 1 paid day which is to register your kid's name.
Chep
WR Officer
+10
Business Development Team Lead
Damn 1 day to register the name? What about the day of the birth🤣!
SalesPharaoh
Politicker
+8
AM BDR
Well the day of birth comes to you by surprise but usually managers would allow you to leave once you learn your wife is giving birth without taking it away from your balance. 
Salespreuner
Big Shot
+11
Regional Sales Director
Omg🤦🙈
braintank
Politicker
+6
Enterprise Account Executive
Parental leave is federally protected under FMLA. I took minimal leave with my first kid and regretted it. I was relatively new (<6 months) and thought it would look bad. With my second I took all that my company had to offer spread out over a few months. Your pipeline and company won't fall apart without you, trust me. It's a cliche but no one looks back and says "I wish I spent more time at work..." 
Sandbagger31
Contributor
+3
Key Accounts Manager
my company offers 12 weeks for paternity, I took all 12 weeks but basically took a week a month on average because there was no way I would be able to take it altogether. To answer your question, yes take it but see if you can split it up would be my advice.
DQ
DQallday
Contributor
+1
Enterprise Account Executive
Sounds like a somewhat similar experience. Did your management team say you had to do it this way or was it a personal call?
Sandbagger31
Contributor
+3
Key Accounts Manager
It wasn't said per se, but it was fairly expected. I made it clear with my wife first and then relayed that to my management team. I hit presidents club the last 3 year but I am sure me taking 3 straight months wouldn't have been good for my career.
Show 3 more replies
Tiddy
Arsonist
+9
Funbags Enthusiast
It makes sense to keep working your pipeline, but I'm sure you won't be spending too much time on it other than maintenance and it will be on your schedule. However, legally, I'm not so sure they can require that of you but I do not know for certain. 
Chep
WR Officer
+10
Business Development Team Lead
Worth going back over your contract. Hope it works out you should definitely focus on your baby and let the pipeline be secondary. 
goose
Politicker
+11
Sales Executive
Can you?  Yes.  
HarryCaray
Notable Contributor
+14
Regional VP
yes
DQ
DQallday
Contributor
+1
Enterprise Account Executive
@CaneWolf  @paddy  @Opal  @SalesPharaoh thanks for the feedback! I know I could get HR behind me, however, I'm interested in getting a sense for the standard leave practices by sales reps at Silicon Valley companies. What do sales reps do at your companies?
CaneWolf
Politicker
+12
Call me what you want, just sign the damn contract
They take leave. You can get really creative with it though. For instance, let's say you have four weeks, which equates to 20 days. You can take the first ten off and then take 2 days off for the next five weeks. I've seen people do that.
Salespreuner
Big Shot
+11
Regional Sales Director
Legal + HR check for sure. Got to spend time with your new born!
StringerBell
Politicker
+7
Account Executive
Great question, wife is pregnant and we’re at 12 weeks and got some blood work back that everything seems to be okay (we’ve had issues in the past) and it kind of hit me - how can I take paternity? The only thing I’m banking on is trying to finish my annual quota early and take it in December 
Sales4what
Opinionated
+4
Co-Founder & VP Sales @ PLURiTy
In almost all states, when you're on leave paid or not they cannot have you keep working your pipeline, there are teams for a reason. You can check from time to time if you feel its needed, but under no circumstances are you required to continue working on paternity leave. 

I had something like thos happen not when i was on paternity but when I was on vacation- i left the company. Under no circumstances should you be required to work on time off
Lumbergh
Politicker
+3
Sr Account Exec
You mention later in thread that it's a Silicon Valley company...let me say that it would be catastrophic for them to be dicks and you make one single post about it publicly.  It would destroy their credibility and recruiting.

I'd go for forgiveness not permission.  "Sure I'll be working my pipeline" and just do the bare minimum to keep deals alive.  Your customers sure as shit are going to understand.  Enlist the help of a co-worker you trust if you are unable to attend a certain meeting etc.  Your manager must suck since [shocking] he is the one who essentially told you it is expected you continue working; a good manager would have raised his hand to back you up while on leave.

If you get hard pushback, get HR on the line, but otherwise just smile and nod and take the time you need.  Family first.
DQ
DQallday
Contributor
+1
Enterprise Account Executive
Appreciate this feedback!
NeildeSaaSTyson
Good Citizen
+1
Senior Account Executive (MM)
That is horribly inappropriate - my company compensates OTE + Salary during leave.  
DQ
DQallday
Contributor
+1
Enterprise Account Executive
Wow. Mind sharing what stage your company is at? (funding round, public, etc)
NeildeSaaSTyson
Good Citizen
+1
Senior Account Executive (MM)
@DQallday 
 Public!  (When I say my company, I mean the company I'm an IC at, I'm no founder haha)
Show 1 more replies
Smithy
Politicker
+4
Director of Sales
Of course you can, and if your company expects you to do ANY kind of work or stay on top of things, then I’d look to leave at the first opportunity. 

having a kid is the most amazing, but most stressful tule of your life and and other expectations outside of getting used to becoming a parent are just stupid. 
FeelItInMyPlums
Opinionated
+4
Sales Account Executive
I went through this as well.  Lucky for me I had a cool boss at the time.  I took 0 formal time off, but also had a 2 week window of my coworkers being super helpful and covering my ass, then another 6ish week window of working from home (Back when working from home wasnt ok).

The company only has the responsibility to provide your base salary for leave payment.  So if you take formal leave, they technically would have to start paying whichever rep covered for you on whatever they closed while you were off. 

The leave question is definitely an active/ongoing one, but seeing as most of us are 50/50 splits, without a super cool company policy, we will likely continue to get the short end of the stick here
DQ
DQallday
Contributor
+1
Enterprise Account Executive
Thanks for the feedback! Figured other reps experienced this at other companies.
Broncosfan
Politicker
+5
Account Manager
Lol f your management. The time with your kid is irreplaceable. 
1nbatopshotfan
Politicker
+5
Senior Director, Enterprise Technology
DQ
DQallday
Contributor
+1
Enterprise Account Executive
thanks!
Lambda
Politicker
+6
Sales Consultant
yes, if u are in the US, FMLA takes care of this
thegrinch
Politicker
+7
SDR
This BS just shows its always best to work for ourselves than the machine. Nobody gives a shit about us even if we're top performers, and they'll just replace us if we leave
CREAM
Good Citizen
Manager
Yes and it's fantastic and tell your manager that is really quick way to lose your top employee
SheWOLF
Opinionated
+2
Director
Of course! I personally want you being at your best when you're back and taking the time you deserve to rest! Also absolutely not reach out to HR asap.
heatunit
Sales Manager
You should ask them if it would be worth losing their top performer by making them work their pipeline instead of spending time with their newborn? 
SlinginSoftware
Politicker
+6
Account Executive
Our leave is wild… up to 13 weeks, 75% quota reduction and they pay the avg of your monthly commission from the previous 12 months. It’s unreal and encourages people to start their family!
1
Should sales reps be allowed to take off after they reach their quota?
Discussion
10
6
Thoughts on hiring sales reps based EQ versus IQ? I have hired more on EQ than IQ with a hint of hunger to make more in comms than IQ. What are your thoughts and what would you normally go for?
Discussion
14
32
Budgeting - Something sales reps take seriously?
Discussion
54