I’m due with my first baby soon. Initially I requested employer to allow me to work from home but they did not allow that. Now I’m on total disability from home but I am still getting work email and responding to the important ones. I’m in marketing and have a new client. I preferred that I do the on boarding call for this client and they are letting me. I’m a dedicated employee so I do prefer to be hands on so I don’t have so much to catch up or a mess to clean up when I return, but is this legal? I may not be 8hrs a day but I’m working from home technically. It’s my first pregnancy and I’m learning about this process. I have lower back issues and don’t know how I will be after baby. I hope they let me work from home in the future if back pain persists or give more flexibility around commute.
If you are a salaried employee then your employer can not require you to work while on disability. A salaried employee is paid a fixed amount at least once a month regardless of how much time they spend working on the job. Your employer is allowed to deduct full days from your pay as long as you do not work at all during the day.
Additionally your employer maybe violating state and federal law regarding pregnancy discrimination and leave. You may not want to rock the boat and complain. I suggest you at the very least contact a lawyer for a consultation and keep a journal of the work your employer requires while on disability.
This answer is a general interpretation of the law and is not fact specific to your case. Likewise it does not create an attorney-client relationship. You should seek an attorney for a review of your specific facts and documents.
Technically you are still working, and if an exempt employee, you are entitled to be paid for a full day when you work even a partial day. The employer's refusal to allow you to work from home may have been a violation of the law. More would need to be known.
If after the birth you have a disabling condition that would prevent you from working at the office, and you present a medical note indicating that you could be accommodated by working from home, the employer would again have an affirmative legal obligation to provide that as an accommodation unless the employer can establish that accommodation would be an undue hardship - not just a desire or violation of regular policy.
If that happens you would be well served to 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.
Most employment attorneys who practice this area of law work offer a free or low cost consultation in the beginning and then, if the matter has merit and value, will usually agree to work on a contingency basis, meaning you can hire an attorney without paying any money until the matter results in a positive outcome for you. Many advance all the costs of the litigation as well. Do not let fear of fees and costs keep you from finding a good attorney.
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.
Years licensed, work experience, educationLegal community recognition
Peer endorsements, associations, awardsLegal thought leadership
Publications, speaking engagementsDiscipline