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Laid off while on FMLA maternity leave California

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  • Laid off while on FMLA maternity leave California

    hi all,

    i've been out on fmla maternity leave and was planning to go back to work in april. unfortunately, my employer called me up today and said my old position has been "eliminated" and as a result, i have 60 days after i come back to find another job or i would be laid off.

    i tried asking for more info, but he didn't want to expand or discuss anything further and just suggested that i talk to HR for more info and what my options are.

    i live and work in CA and thought that according to fmla i'm legally protected against something like this. that employers must give you your old job back or offer something equivalent, no? am i mistaken here?

    is this legal???

    what are my options???

  • #2
    You are legally protected from any termination that is related to your leave; i.e., they cannot term you BECAUSE you took FMLA or maternity leave.

    FMLA does not protect you from a termination that would have occurred regardless of whether you took leave or not. If your job is among the ones that would have been eliminated anyway and the company can back that up with business-related reasons, then you don't get to keep your job and someone else lose theirs simply because by sheer coincidence of timing, you happened to be on FMLA at the time the layoffs occurred.

    If CA provides any additional protections I'm sure one of the CA experts will say so.
    The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

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