is it legal for my employer to use maternity leave against me? arent they required to give me notice when i need to return to work to secure my job?

UPDATED: May 29, 2009

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is it legal for my employer to use maternity leave against me? arent they required to give me notice when i need to return to work to secure my job?

i worked for aig. i was taken out of work 1/28 due to complications with pregnancy. prior to leaving i had a metting with my hr rep who rvwd maternity and fmla leave. i gave birth march 24th and was then laid off 2 days before my shcduled return date 6/1. they stated my maternity leave which they said i had 8 weeks, put me over the 12 weeks fmla garuntees my job. the 12 weeks ended in april. no one ever made me aware that i could loose my job if my doctor took me out of work or because i gave birth.

Asked on May 29, 2009 under Employment Labor Law, New York


MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 13 years ago | Contributor

Here is your issue: no one was under a duty to tell you -- you should have reviewed FMLA on your own.  Yes, 12 weeks is the cap under FMLA (you need to be a qualified employee with a qualified employer).  So, at this point, the issue becomes whether or not there are separate labor laws in your state of New York that can help you.


New York State is an "at-will" employment state, which means your employer can fire you with or without cause, as long as it is not discriminatory.  Pregnancy may be a discriminatory issue; it is in many states.  So, your best bet is to contact the New York State Dept of Labor and talk the agency about the issues you are experiencing.  Here is the link:

The discriminatory aspects of firing is covered under the New York State Division of Human Rights --

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