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Can my employer ask me to work for free? Can they punish me for saying no?

Cincinnati, OH |

I work for a company with less than 50 employees, they dont pay for maternity leave or mandatory meetings. They also make me pay for my own training.

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Attorney answers 3


Posting to employment law forum.

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I should start off by letting you know that there is no legal right to paid maternity leave. Employers that are subject to FMLA are required to give maternity leave (but not paid). Some employers do it as a courtesy. Ohio, like many other states, is an "at will" state which means that an employer can let go for no reason and an employee can quite for no reason (or any reason that does not violate fed/state laws). If you don't like the terms of the employment (i.e. obtaining your own training) I would suggest finding other employment. Unfortunately, you wouldn't have a grounds to sue unless they are violating some constitutionally protected right. Sorry.

Responses provided are not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response is the educated opinion of the author and nothing should be construed as forming an attorney-client relationship. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response is based upon the limited facts and if additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Attorney is licensed to practice law only in the State of Ohio. Responses are based solely on Ohio law unless stated otherwise.


You should be paid for mandatory meetings. As the first poster stated, maternity leave is generally unpaid. They can also require you obtain training on your own in many cases. As for the mandatory company meetings, however, I can think of no good reason why an employer should not pay you.

Shannon G. Becker
The Law Office of Shannon G. Becker, LLC
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