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Is it legal to terminate an employee after returing to work from FMLA?

Chicago, IL |

Two weeks after returning to work from FMLA (birth of a child), I was told my position was being eliminated due to a reduction in workforce. I was to work until May 29th to transition my job to another employee on my team who is at the same pay level as myself. Is that lega?

Attorney Answers 3


You can take 12 weeks off for the birth of a child.The employeeif protected by FMLA, is entitled to have their benefits maintained during the leave. In addition, the employer can ask for the employee to provide a fitness-for-duty certification prior to returning to work. An employee will not be able to demonstrate discriminatory animus if the employer has a legitimate non-FMLA reason for terminating the employee.

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Sounds like your employer is walking a fine line, but they are providing you a non-pretextual reason for elminating you citing it as a downturn in the economy. It does have the appearance of inappropriate actions by your employer due to the timing of the termination.

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By the way, if you think this was due to sexual discrimination based on your pregnancy, I would at least recommend filing a claim with either the IDHR (Illinois Department of Human Rights) and/or the EEOC.
I believe you only have about 180 days from the day of the alleged discrimination to file a claim. That would at keep your options open on your next steps while the IDHE or EEOC investigate your claim.
So I would recommend that you file that ASAP if you think this was due to sexual discrimination based on your pregnancy,
Best of Luck.

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