Can my employer reduce my pay upon my return from maternity leave?

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Can my employer reduce my pay upon my return from maternity leave?

Upon my return from maternity leave, I was informed that I’m no longer qualified for the company gas card which resulted in a pay reduction. The company gas card is part of the compensation offered to me when I became lead coordinator 2 years ago. My employer informed me that the other coordinator in my department doesn’t have a gas card so my employer decided to take my gas card away from me. However, I am the only lead coordinator in my department. Is this unlawful?

Asked on June 10, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

If your pay (i.e. the loss of a company gas card) was reduced based solely on the reason that you took time off for maternity leave, then that would be illegal. However, if there was another legitimate to have made this change, then it is perfectly permissable. In this case, if a co-worker also had their gas card taken away, then it appears to have been a valid non-maternity related reason. If you still have questions and/or concerns, you can consult directly with a local employment law attorney. Once they go over all of the details of your situation, they can best advise you further.


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