What are my rights if my former employer told me that my position was “no longer available” but I hadn’t yet returned from my maternity leave?

UPDATED: Sep 29, 2022

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What are my rights if my former employer told me that my position was “no longer available” but I hadn’t yet returned from my maternity leave?

If my position was no longer available then why was she hiring many employees at the time of my lay off? Do I have grounds to sue?

Asked on September 23, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

The issue is, are you not being brought back because you were pregnant and/or used leave--which is illegal and, if this is what was done, could support legal action on your part--or is your position legitimately being eliminated, which is valid grounds to not return you? However, they can't simply claim that a position is being eliminated the facts must support that claim. So take the situation where your position is supposedly eliminated while other people are hired--are they being hired for the same or similar things to what you did, or not? If they are being hired at different locations or for different jobs, then this may be legal an employer may choose to eliminate one job which it finds unnecessary or redundent while hiring for other positions. But if the new hires do similar things to what you did even if titles are different, then this may have been a lie, since if they are doing the same or similar things, that is  evidence that your position still exists and/or is needed. So the specific facts are critical to determining your rights.

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