Pregnancy can be both exciting and challenging for many working women. Legally, your job is protected while you’re on maternity break, and you’re entitled to return to the same position once you resume work.
If you’ve been wrongfully dismissed during or upon returning from maternity leave, you may have a wrongful termination case against your employer. This post will examine what the law says on the issue and how an employment law attorney can help in understanding your legal rights and claiming the compensation you deserve.
What FMLA States About Maternity Leave
The United States is the only member of the OECD that does not require businesses to offer paid maternity leave to employees. You’re entitled to up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave for the birth of a newborn or adoption of a child, as per the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). To be eligible, you must have worked for a company that employs fifty or more employees and have completed at least 1,250 hours over the past 12 months.
In the event that pregnancy interferes with your ability to perform job duties, you’re entitled to request reasonable accommodation. When you return from paid or unpaid maternity leave, your employer must offer you the same job (or a similar job) you had when you left.
How to Spot Signs of Employment Discrimination
Pregnancy and maternity leave are prohibited as grounds for termination under human rights law and employment standards legislation. Although an employer can terminate the services of pregnant women for legitimate reasons, including organizational restructuring, departmental restructuring, customer complaints, performance issues, or changes in role requirements. Still, they can’t dismiss you because you went on maternity leave. Spotting the signs listed below can help you stay cautious of workplace discrimination:
- Your employer has a history of terminating pregnant women.
- You’re fired for performance issues while other similar employees are retained.
- You’re not offered your job following maternity leave citing qualification/skill gap, while your replacement is equally unskilled.
How an Employment Lawyer Can Help
If you’ve been wrongfully dismissed during or following maternity leave, you may wonder “Can I sue my employer.” Contact an employment law attorney to understand your legal rights. A wrongful termination lawyer can help you seek the maximum compensation you deserve against lost wages, legal costs, and fees, money for pain and suffering, and emotional distress.
If you feel you’ve been discriminated at work, wrongfully terminated due to maternity leave, or not given rightful accommodations at work, contact LegalASAP today and schedule your free employment case evaluation. Our network of trusted and experienced attorneys is always ready to assist you with your legal matters.