What are my rights regarding my employer’s treatment of me due to my pregnancy?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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What are my rights regarding my employer’s treatment of me due to my pregnancy?

I have been employed with my employer for the last 4 months. About 8 months ago, I found out that I was pregnant. A few weeks ago I inquired about FMLA. Spoke with HR rep over the phone and was told I was eligible and to send an email when I was ready to start. Few weeks after, I send an email and was told I needed 23 hours to be eligible and to contact them again once the hours were completed. At 37 weeks pregnant, I worked very hard to pick up shifts to complete the hours I was told were needed. Last week, I completed the week with 24.5 hours and sent an email as soon I clocked out that day. I just received an email today saying I am lacking hours and am not eligible. This is the third time they have changed their response regarding my eligibility and has cause me a lot of stress. If they had been more clear with their stipulations I would have tried to figure out something else regarding my benefits and medical coverage if I knew I was not going to be eligible. Now I am almost in labor and without FMLA I lose my medical benefits when I am not working.

Asked on July 18, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Arizona


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

If you have only been employed with this employer for 4 months, you are not eligible for FMLA leave, regardless of how many hours you worked: under the law, you are not eligible for FMLA unless you worked for this employer for at least 12 months (below is a link to FAQ sheet on  FMLA put out by the U.S. Dept. of Labor, the agency which oversees the law). Therefore, the employer's mistake was "harmless" and they are not liable for it, since if you've only been there 4 months, you are simply not eligible for FMLA leave in any event; no matter how many hours you worked, it would not have made a difference.
Here's the link:https://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/whdfs28.pdf

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