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

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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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


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

Answered 5 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.

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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