I have a friend who was out on FMLA for 7 weeks due to serious illness resulting in a week of hospitalization and 6 weeks recovery. When she returned to work she found two weeks earlier the company had hired someone for her job and upon returning she was given a job that pays half what she was making. At this point her pay and benefits have not been cut but reference has been made that since she is being paid twice what the position normally pays - they expect twice the work out of her.
Nursing Home Abuse / Neglect Lawyer
Your friend's demotion may or may not be legal depending on whether your friend is covered by the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). For her to qualify for protection under the FMAL, her employer must employ 50 or more employees within a 75 mile radius, and she must have been an employee for at least 12 months before she took leave. If she is qualified for protection under the FMLA, she should consult with an employment law attorney right away to possibly be reinstated in her former position and receipt of backpay. If she is not qualified for FMLA protection, because the employer has fewer than 50 employees or she has been there less that a year, then yes the employer can take the actions they did.