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Is it legal for my employer to fire me during pregnancy disability leave if I have been off for more than 4 months?

Sacramento, CA |

I took 21 weeks of disability leave during my pregnancy. While I was released postpartum from my OBGYN, my regular doctor did not release me due to an impending gallbladder surgery. When I applied for more leave with doctor's notes my employer chose to terminate me. Is this legal? Do I still qualify for baby bonding pay?

Attorney Answers 3

Posted

You may be entitled to protection under state and federal law, depending on several factors such as how large your employer is, whether you had been working for over 12 months for your employer, and whether your employer could reasonably accommodate your request without undue hardship. Under the PDL and CFRA, you may be entitled to up to four months plus twelve weeks of leave. Contact an employment attorney who is well versed in pregnancy discrimination laws. Most plaintiff side employment attorneys will offer a free and confidential consultation, so feel free to ask.

Any post of discussion above is general in nature and is not intended to and should not be construed as legal advice. Furthermore, the above posting does not create or establish any attorney-client relationship. Contact an attorney as soon as possible to discuss your legal options. [John D. Wu is licensed to practice law before all California federal and state courts]

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Posted

Pregnant employees have many rights under the law. It is unlawful for an employer to discriminate against an employee because she is/was pregnant or because of her right to pregnancy related or other medical leave. Call an employment law attorney to discuss your case. Many employment law attorneys offer a free initial phone consultation and even if she/he is not within your county/city, may be able resolve your matter at no cost to you by writing a demand letter to your former employer and fighting for your rights.

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The answer to your question will involve analysis of many facts that are not disclosed in your post. Suffice to say it is possible that what has occurred to you was unlawful.

Under the Fair Employment and Housing Act, if you are temporarily disabled by the need for gall bladder surgery, and your employer could have provided you with additional unpaid leave for your new and different disabling condition without it causing an undue hardship, then it should have accommodated you by doing so.

You should locate and consult with an experienced employment law attorney as soon as possible to explore your facts and determine your options. I would suggest you look either on this site in the Find a Lawyer section, or go to www.cela.org, the home page for the California Employment Lawyers Association, an organization whose members are dedicated to the representation of employees against their employers.

Good luck to you.

This answer should not be construed to create any attorney-client relationship. Such a relationship can be formed only through the mutual execution of an attorney-client agreement. The answer given is based on the extremely limited facts provided and the proper course of action might change significantly with the introduction of other facts. All who read this answer should not rely on the answer to govern their conduct. Please seek the advice of competent counsel after disclosing all facts to that attorney. This answer is intended for California residents only. The answering party is only licensed to practice in the State of California.

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