Working Moms

Is it illegal to get laid off while still on maternity leave?

I was laid off a just a few days before I had to go back to work after having my son. Is that illegal? Not only did they laid me off before I actually returned to work but they simply gave me a phone call (after 5pm) and told me flat out!!

 

Re: Is it illegal to get laid off while still on maternity leave?

  • If you were part of a larger lay off then that's legal. Also, Was it past the allowed FMLA (6 weeks in some states). More information, how long was your maternity leave, how much notice did you give, Was it paid or unpaid leave, etc?
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  • It depends on the reason. If your job would have been eliminated regardless of whether you were on leave or not, and not based on your membership of a protected class, then yes, it was legal. Sorry that happened to you!
  • image LeahCK:
    If you were part of a larger lay off then that's legal. Also, Was it past the allowed FMLA (6 weeks in some states). More information, how long was your maternity leave, how much notice did you give, Was it paid or unpaid leave, etc?

    In what state is FMLA 6 weeks? It's a federal law and it's 12 weeks protection as long as you qualify for it.

    image

  • image kiraliz2:

    image LeahCK:
    If you were part of a larger lay off then that's legal. Also, Was it past the allowed FMLA (6 weeks in some states). More information, how long was your maternity leave, how much notice did you give, Was it paid or unpaid leave, etc?

    In what state is FMLA 6 weeks? It's a federal law and it's 12 weeks protection as long as you qualify for it.

    It all depends on the size of your company. I work for a small firm and my boss is not required to comply with any FMLA laws. It is also not 12 weeks everywhere.

    And to the OP... No... It is not illegal to be laid off during maternity leave.  

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  • image kiraliz2:

    image LeahCK:
    If you were part of a larger lay off then that's legal. Also, Was it past the allowed FMLA (6 weeks in some states). More information, how long was your maternity leave, how much notice did you give, Was it paid or unpaid leave, etc?

    In what state is FMLA 6 weeks? It's a federal law and it's 12 weeks protection as long as you qualify for it.

    You're totally right! I miswrote - it's 12 weeks federally. 

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  • http://www.dol.gov/whd/fmla/

    Overview

    The FMLA entitles eligible employees of covered employers to take unpaid, job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons with continuation of group health insurance coverage under the same terms and conditions as if the employee had not taken leave. Eligible employees are entitled to:

    • Twelve workweeks of leave in a 12-month period for:
      • the birth of a child and to care for the newborn child within one year of birth;
     
    It doesn't have to be paid so some companies offer 6 weeks pd and 6 weeks disability that runs concurrently with the FMLA (which my company offers).
    It does get confusing and I have to look it up every time. 

     

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  • There are so many variables here. I would call an employment attorney in your area for a consult
  • This happened to me as well.  I contacted an Employment Law Attorney.  He told me that it's legal as long as they aren't laying me off b/c I'm on maternity leave.  Pretty much impossible to prove.  My just was outsourced so yea, it was legal. 

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    image

  • image HilarityEnsued:
    image kiraliz2:

    image LeahCK:
    If you were part of a larger lay off then that's legal. Also, Was it past the allowed FMLA (6 weeks in some states). More information, how long was your maternity leave, how much notice did you give, Was it paid or unpaid leave, etc?

    In what state is FMLA 6 weeks? It's a federal law and it's 12 weeks protection as long as you qualify for it.

    It all depends on the size of your company. I work for a small firm and my boss is not required to comply with any FMLA laws. It is also not 12 weeks everywhere.

    And to the OP... No... It is not illegal to be laid off during maternity leave.  

    Yes, that's why I said if you qualify. And also, I'm pretty sure it is 12 weeks everywhere.

    image

  • Not illegal.
    promised myself I'd retire when I turned gold, and yet here I am
  • image HilarityEnsued:
    image kiraliz2:

    image LeahCK:
    If you were part of a larger lay off then that's legal. Also, Was it past the allowed FMLA (6 weeks in some states). More information, how long was your maternity leave, how much notice did you give, Was it paid or unpaid leave, etc?

    In what state is FMLA 6 weeks? It's a federal law and it's 12 weeks protection as long as you qualify for it.

    It all depends on the size of your company. I work for a small firm and my boss is not required to comply with any FMLA laws. It is also not 12 weeks everywhere.

    And to the OP... No... It is not illegal to be laid off during maternity leave.  

    The size of the company can dictate whether or not you qualify for FMLA but FMLA is always 12 weeks.  OP, like others said, you can't be let go FOR taking your legal leave but you are able to be included as part of a reduction in force. 

    Formerly known as elmoali :)

    image
  • image kiraliz2:

    image LeahCK:
    If you were part of a larger lay off then that's legal. Also, Was it past the allowed FMLA (6 weeks in some states). More information, how long was your maternity leave, how much notice did you give, Was it paid or unpaid leave, etc?

    In what state is FMLA 6 weeks? It's a federal law and it's 12 weeks protection as long as you qualify for it.

    My company requires you use FMLA for prenatal appointments.

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  • image magdalina.h:
    image kiraliz2:

    image LeahCK:
    If you were part of a larger lay off then that's legal. Also, Was it past the allowed FMLA (6 weeks in some states). More information, how long was your maternity leave, how much notice did you give, Was it paid or unpaid leave, etc?

    In what state is FMLA 6 weeks? It's a federal law and it's 12 weeks protection as long as you qualify for it.

    My company requires you use FMLA for prenatal appointments.

    That's insane!  How can they do that?  I assume you're only taking a day off here and there, and not more than once a week.  I'd love for them to explain how that differs from taking a sick day that often, not to mention I'm guessing you are taking hours at a time and not days.  That seems unfair to me.

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  • image nawlinsgrl:
    image magdalina.h:
    image kiraliz2:

    image LeahCK:
    If you were part of a larger lay off then that's legal. Also, Was it past the allowed FMLA (6 weeks in some states). More information, how long was your maternity leave, how much notice did you give, Was it paid or unpaid leave, etc?

    In what state is FMLA 6 weeks? It's a federal law and it's 12 weeks protection as long as you qualify for it.

    My company requires you use FMLA for prenatal appointments.

    That's insane!  How can they do that?  I assume you're only taking a day off here and there, and not more than once a week.  I'd love for them to explain how that differs from taking a sick day that often, not to mention I'm guessing you are taking hours at a time and not days.  That seems unfair to me.

    They absolutely can, but not all places enforce it.  They can do it because your time away from the office is directly related to an FMLA qualifying situation.  Let's say you have cancer and need to have weekly treatments.  If you're not covered by FMLA, you could lose your job for taking that time but FMLA ensures they can't fire you for it until/unless you exceed 12 total weeks of time. 

    You can max out on random sick days and they can tell you that you can't take anymore.  With a more "chronic" situation, which pregnancy is, you could need lots of time away from work and you need to be covered, which deducts it from your bank of covered time. 

    Formerly known as elmoali :)

    image
  • I'm in HR at a large company. We've laid people off on approved FMLA. What we do is notify them that it's happening (while they are out), but we don't terminate their employment until their approved return date. Sometimes when we have to do things for large teams you just can't avoid laying off people on an approved leave of absence.

    It's certainly a bit more risky if it's a selective thing (you lay off the maternity leave person, but not the man in the same role for example). We'd avoid that sort of thing.

    image
  • image elmoali:
    image HilarityEnsued:
    image kiraliz2:

    image LeahCK:
    If you were part of a larger lay off then that's legal. Also, Was it past the allowed FMLA (6 weeks in some states). More information, how long was your maternity leave, how much notice did you give, Was it paid or unpaid leave, etc?

    In what state is FMLA 6 weeks? It's a federal law and it's 12 weeks protection as long as you qualify for it.

    It all depends on the size of your company. I work for a small firm and my boss is not required to comply with any FMLA laws. It is also not 12 weeks everywhere.

    And to the OP... No... It is not illegal to be laid off during maternity leave.  

    The size of the company can dictate whether or not you qualify for FMLA but FMLA is always 12 weeks.  OP, like others said, you can't be let go FOR taking your legal leave but you are able to be included as part of a reduction in force. 

    This.


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