while i was pregnant, my manager would discriminate against me by not allowing me to go to the bathroom or taking lunch breaks. I would sometimes take my lunch at the end of the day before closing. (Mind you i worked a full day at work) and would get in trouble for trying to eat snacks.My child was born premature and in the NICU for a week because of his weight. aside from my twelve weeks of paid maternity leave i am eligible for an additional twelve weeks. I spoke to my manager today and was told that because i decided to take my extension i am now jobless and have to reapply for the my job and go through the whole hiring process. What are my rights in this matter? I am confused.
Employment / Labor Attorney
So long as your employer has more than 15 employees, you appear to certainly have a cause of action against your employer under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA- which amended Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to include pregnancy as a protected class). While pregnancy is NOT a disability, pregnant women must be treated the same way as other employees are treated who have disabilities. Stated simply, if the employer grants other employees the ability to use the restrooms or eat snacks (think diabetic employee), then the employer must do the same for you. As an additional matter, if your employer offered 12 additional weeks of leave, it could be estopped (prohibited) from using that as a basis for terminating you- if your FMLA leave was voluntarily extended by the employer, it may not then use that leave as a basis to terminate. It sounds like you have a number of issues that will likely overlap here- you should certainly consult with an experienced employment law attorney who only represents plaintiffs such as yourself.
Feel free to contact me directly for further information at 239-985-9691 or to speak confidentially- the information provided herein is for general information only and does not constitute legal advice, nor does this communication in any way establish an attorney-client relationship.
Workers' Compensation Lawyer
Seek legal help. If you extended your maternity leave pursuant to company policy then you may have a right to your job based on that company policy. What occurred prior to the birth is really not relevant. Are you currently an employee of the company or not? Do you have a job, just no guarantee of what job? I am confused by your question. Seek legal help with all your documentation.
The answers given are limited to the facts as given and presumed by the answer itself. Without seeing actual written documentation or having a conference to more fully explore the issues, this short answer has only limited application. Make sure to seek legal counsel and provide all documentation to get assistance in making informed legal choices. Bstein@dcfsz.com, 305 377 1505
Employment / Labor Attorney
Sounds like you may have a few possible claims: (1) pregnancy discrimination based on the different treatment and harassment you suffered while actually pregnant, (2) FMLA violations for terminating you in retaliation for taking your FMLA leave, and (3) a claim under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in association with the serious health condition of your child resulting in your termination. I don't see a pregnancy discrimination claim for the termination because you weren't pregnant at the time of the firing. But you may have both FMLA and ADA claims for it instead.