Can my employer terminate me if I was put on short term disability 2 weeks before my due date due to illness?

UPDATED: Oct 27, 2011

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Can my employer terminate me if I was put on short term disability 2 weeks before my due date due to illness?

I have been employed with my company for 6 1/2 years, working on an account for another large company. My company is losing the contract with this customer and being replaced by another company. The current contract is supposed to be good with the company until the end of next year, however, through various agreements, different departments are transitioning at different times. My dept is transitioning to the new company on my due date, next month. My company issued a WARN letter notifying us of the elimination of our positions last month. Can they terminate while on maternity leave?

Asked on October 27, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Michigan


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Yes, unfortunately, you can be terminated while on maternity leave. They cannot terminate you *because* you are pregnant, giving birth, on maternity leave, etc. However, being pregnant, having a child, or being on maternity leave does not protect you from termination for unrelated reasons, such as  restructuring or downsizing; or, for that matter, for reasons specific to you but unrelated from the pregnancy, such as performance problems, insubordination, absenteeism, etc. All that is disallowed is making the pregnancy or the use of some approved or protected form of maternity leave (e.g. Family and Medical Leave Act leave)( the grounds for  termination; but being pregnant or on maternity leave does not act to protect or guaranty your job from all causes.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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