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Laid off while on maternity leave

Raynham, MA |

I had a baby on 2/10/12, last day of work was 2/3/12. So, i would have been out of work for three months only receiving my disability check paying me for i believe four weeks. This is all the income received i then received a package on 5/11/12, stating that due to lack of funding staff reduction needed to take place and i am out of a job.

Attorney Answers 5


Too many unanswered questions from your brief description to say anything other than, consult an employment attorney right away.

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I am a California attorney and cannot give legal advice in your state. My comments are information only, based on federal law and general legal principles. YOUR STATE MAY HAVE ITS OWN LAWS THAT OFFER SIMILAR OR GREATER PROTECTION. If I mention your state’s laws, it only means I did a quick Internet search and found something that looked relevant. You MUST check with an attorney licensed in your state to learn your rights.

Your question raises an issue of pregnancy discrimination. Pregnancy discrimination is unlawful under federal law. In 1978, Congress amended the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title VII 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000e to 2000e–17, by passing the Pregnancy Discrimination Act.

Under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, "discrimination" means to treat a pregnant employee differently from non-pregnant employees, and adversely. The employee must be able to make a connection between the discriminatory treatment and the protected status (being pregnant). In other words, the employee will have to show that her pregnancy is reason the employer is treating her adversely. There are various ways to do this. Negative comments from supervisors or management; a sudden change in treatment (for the worse) as soon as or shortly after the employer learns about the pregnancy or the effects of pregnancy; or other incriminating conduct. Note it is not unlawful for an employer to apply the same leave of absence policy to pregnant and non-pregnant employees.

For information on pregnancy discrimination, see:

For information on the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, see:

This law is enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Keep in mind you may have only 180 days to file a charge with the EEOC, unless your state has its own similar law, in which case the filing time is probably 300 days. But you MUST confirm the filing deadline with an attorney licensed in your state.

Employment law is complicated and fact specific. You should obtain legal counsel before pursing the claim. You may wish to consult with an experienced plaintiffs employment attorney in your state. To find a plaintiffs employment attorney in your area, please go to the web site of the National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA). NELA is the largest and most influential bar association in the country for attorneys who represent working people. The web site is, and you can search for attorneys by location and practice area.

Also, NELA has affiliates in every state and in many cities. On the NELA web site, you can look at the list of affiliates. Some attorneys will be listed in the affiliate membership list, some in the national organization membership list, and some in both. Being listed in one or both lists should not influence your selection because attorneys can choose whether or not to purchase the listing in the national directory. Each local affiliate has its own rules for listing.

*** All legal actions have time limits, called statutes of limitation. If you miss the deadline for filing your claim, you will lose the opportunity to pursue your case. Please consult with an experienced employment attorney as soon as possible to better preserve your rights. *** Marilynn Mika Spencer provides information on Avvo as a service to the public, primarily when general information may be of assistance. Avvo is not an appropriate forum for an in-depth response or a detailed analysis. These comments are for information only and should not be considered legal advice. Legal advice must pertain to specific, detailed facts. No attorney-client relationship is created based on this information exchange. *** Marilynn Mika Spencer is licensed to practice law before all state and federal courts in California, and can appear before administrative agencies throughout the country. She is eligible to represent clients in other states on a pro hac vice basis. ***

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1 lawyer agrees


You should speak with an experienced employment attorney right away. You may have claims, but you have not provided enough information for me to make a meaningful comment.

Congratulations on your new baby!

Attorney Lauren Craig Redmond ~ 617.953.6116 ~ No attorney/client relationship is established or implied by any email or phone conversation.

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It sounds like your employer has made a huge mistake here.

You have certainly met the facial requirements to bring a discrimination claim. If your employer is subject to the federal family leave acts, or the state equivalents, they may also have violated those statutes.

You may have a valuable claim. As a member of the Massachusetts branch of NELA (a national association of employee-side employment attorneys), I suggest that you immediately contact an employment specialist for assistance.

Do you want accurate, personalized, legal advice that you can rely on? You will have to hire an attorney, not ask on Avvo. I am not your attorney and am not creating an attorney-client relationship by this post. I am therefore giving only general advice. This advice may not apply to you or your situation; may not take account of all possibilities, and may not match the advice I would give to a client. DO NOT rely on this advice or any other advice on Avvo to make your legal decisions. If you want an answer to a legal question you should retain an attorney who is licensed in your state.

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I agree with Atty. Redmond. You are in need of an experienced employment attorney. You should contact at least 2-3 for an initial consult. As their "win" "loss" record and in what courts they regularly litigate. Become an "informed" consumer of legal service. It will be worth you time and effort. Good luck and best regards from on of those experienced employment law attorneys. Rob Fortgang

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