Can I be fired for being on medical leave due to my pregnancy?

UPDATED: Aug 30, 2011

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Can I be fired for being on medical leave due to my pregnancy?

I was 15 weeks pregnant and started having complication’s that resulted in me being put out of work and on semi-bedrest. I was put out of workand was released from the doctor 8 months later. I got a letter in the mail a monthe prior to that stating I had been terminated due to medical leave.

Asked on August 30, 2011 North Carolina


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you may be in this case:

1) The law does not require employers to hold jobs for employees on medical leave other than per the terms of the federal Family and  Medical Leave Act and/or its state equivalents. However, even if both your employer and you were covered (e.g. the employer has more than 50 employees; you've worked long enough in the recent past), FMLA leave and its state counterparts only provides up to 3 months of leave. If you were out for 8 months, you took 5 more months then you were entitled to.

2) Employers can't discriminate on the basis of pregnancy. But not discrimination means merely making "reasonable" accomodations, which are accomodations which are not too costly in terms in money or disruption. Having to hold a job for someone for 8 months while they don't work would almost certainly be considered unreasonable.

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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