Was I wrongedby my ex-employer if I was the only employee laid off after my maternity leave was over?

UPDATED: Jan 4, 2011

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Was I wrongedby my ex-employer if I was the only employee laid off after my maternity leave was over?

I went on maternity leave and a week before I was to return I met with my boss. She said that the company was losing money and cutbacks needed to be made in my department. Since they were doing things fine without me, it was my job and a few others that would be getting hours cut. My boss gave me 2 options: (1) I could work a maximumof 20 hours a week (but I would lose all my benefits), or (2) I could take a lay off and get unemployment. I decided to take the layoff now instead of later. I found out I was the only one who lost their job. The FMLA doesn’t apply and I was wondering if I was wronged in anyway.

Asked on January 4, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Idaho


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

You should speak with an employment attorney--you may have been wronged. A company may not fire someone for having been pregnant or having a child. If you can show that they company did fire you for this reason, you may be able to get several months of pay plus other damages. From what you write, you very possibly could make the initial showing of this--since only you were let go--in which case the company then has a chance to show that you were not fired for improper reasons but for something legitimate related to their business needs or your performance. An employment attorney can evaluate the circumstances and advise as to whether you in fact have a case and what it might be worth--from what you write, it's worthwhile having that conversation.

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