Can you be demoted when coming back from a medical leave of less than a year?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can you be demoted when coming back from a medical leave of less than a year?

I had to take time off for a major
medical condition, my direct supervisor
hinted that I may be brought back with
a lower position and major pay

Asked on March 15, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

If you took a legally protected form of leave, like Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave or leave guaranteed you by a written employment contract, they cannot demote you or otherwise take adverse or negative action against you for using the leave. If they do, contact the department of labor to file a complaint (FMLA) or sue for breach of contract, as appropriate
If it was not legally or contractually guaranteed leave, however, you do not have any job protection for or from using leave and may be freely demoted.
Whether it was protected leave or unprotected you may be demoted for provable reasons not related to the leave, such as documented wrongdoing at work.

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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