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Pregnant Employee RTW Ohio

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  • Pregnant Employee RTW Ohio

    Need advice please:

    Small company, way less than 50 employees, so no FMLA. We had an employee become pregnant. We had agreed when she had the baby that she would receive 3 weeks of paid leave. It was a late in life pregnancy and a very difficult one. Her doctor put on her bed rest around mid-June. She delivered on July 19th. It was Caesearean, so a longer recovery period was expected. We are a small, family company who takes care of their employees, so she has been paid this whole time, obviously going above and beyond any legal requirement. Today she sent me a copy of a doctor note-he has delayed her RTW to September 19th.

    I just can't see doing that, at least not at full salary. I'm not concerned about terminating her, as FMLA doesn't apply and I can't see anyone calling three months of leave a reasonable accommodation for a company our size. I really don't want to terminate though. I want her to return to work. My concern is if we tell her we are terminating her, and she gets her doctor to let her return to work earlier, can we then be liable for any injury or complication?

  • #2
    Most doctors will say 8 weeks recovery for C-sections. I'd make sure to give her the 3 weeks paid leave that was agreed on(even if you count from 7/19), but since she knew the rest was unpaid, I'd go with that rather than terminating her. It doesn't sound like she would expect that you would keep paying, but would expect 8 weeks off from delivery date rather than 8 weeks from 1st day out.

    If she gets a RTW, I know under FMLA you can't require her to take MORE time than she needs. I realize that FMLA doesn't apply, but we do try to keep to the same principles at our company when it doesn't. What are her job duties? Can you offer her light duties for any time until 9/19 if she wants to come back earlier?

    Are you covered under the PDA? What would you do for an employee out for a different medical condition? Definitely make sure you treat her the same!


    • #3
      I think there is a balance between what works for your company and what works for the employee’s safe return. Your company having less than 50 employees gives you flexibility to determine what works for you and reasonable.


      • #4
        Right Linda481.


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