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Fired While on Maternity Leave, Job offered for return after leave. Virginia Virginia

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  • Fired While on Maternity Leave, Job offered for return after leave. Virginia Virginia

    My sister works as a manager for poperty management firm. This is a large company with several large federal governement contracts. She is going on maternity leave next week. She had planned on being out until March using FMLA and accrued personal time. This had all been discussed with her supervisors and approved. Now the company she works for is splitting in half. One partner is keeping some of the properties and contracts and the other is taking some of the properties and contracts and starting a new buisness. The location she works at is becoming part of the new buisness. Nobody is being laid off, all the employees of the old buisness at this location will become new employess of the new buisness as of jan 1. Except my sister. She has been told that as of jan 1 she will no longer be employeed by the old buisness and the new business has told her she can not be hired until she returns to work in march. Keep in mind, she is being offered the same job she is currently in, nobody else is being laid off, and only reason she is going to be denied health care and other benifits is that she will have given birth to a new baby. Is there any legal recourse for her here? Should one of these companies be obligated to provide her with her benefits she's earned. Is there a discrimination lawsuit possible since the ONLY reason she won't be hired day 1 like the rest of the employees is that she is a mother?
    Please help, she deserves better than this.

  • #2
    How many employees?
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
    Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

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    • #3
      Originally posted by DAW View Post
      How many employees?
      not sure, but well over the 50 needed to qualify for fmla.

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      • #4
        I am not the best person to answer the rest of the question, but I figured it would be best to get the obvious question out of the way first. You will likely get someone better at FMLA then I am to address the rest soon.
        "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
        Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

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        • #5
          It isn't as straightforward as you make it sound. Is the insurace changing? It sounds like it is. Are there others on leave for other reasons? Surely if it is that large a company there are. What is happening with those folks?

          In any case, if she is losing her old coverage, at the very least she should be able to pick up COBRA. It is costly but it *may* be her only option. She can not be discriminated against because she is on FMLA or because she is female, but she also doesn't get special treatment either. If others who are on leave as of Jan 1 are not rehired until they return, it is legal. As for the insurance, if it is a new policy it is possible that she isn't eligible until she has actually worked for the new company. That is a function of the insurance plan and not her employer's rule alone.

          Her best bet is to contact the DOL and run her situation by them. Anytime there is a "new" employer it gets complicated for FMLA purposes. http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx...1.3.54.1.489.7
          I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

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          • #6
            Is the new business truly a new business with a new incorporation, tax ID, etc? I work in property management and when we buy a complex, we hire the current employees but since we are a different business their benefits reset.

            So if it legally new ownership, then I can see why the company will not put your wife as an employee until she returns.

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