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Louisiana maternity leave? Louisiana

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  • Louisiana maternity leave? Louisiana

    My wife is due in 5 weeks and she got a letter along with her check today that was unnerving. The letter states that the company has no maternity policy. They said that she would be given 6 weeks unpaid leave and she would have to pay for her insurance while she was out, the complete premium before she left on leave. In previous conversation with them about the leave they kept referring to it as the “stupid family act,” and never told us their plan. The company sprung this one on us 5 weeks prior to the due date, and never gave us heads up months in advance as we gave them. I personally think they are getting back at me because I crushed my back while working there and had to go on workman’s comp which they are fighting. I had to turn my notice in because of my inability to do the job, and all this happened within a 4 month span. Anyway they have 13 employees, is there anything we can do in this situation. We are fine with the unpaid leave but having all of the benefits of the job terminated is a little much. Is there anything we can do?

  • #2
    With only 13 employees, the Family Medical Leave Act does not apply, and I cannot find any indication that Louisiana has a state equivalent law. That being the case, it is legal for them to cancel her benefits, in that no law prohibits it. I completely agree with you that it is a bit much (I'd call it more than that but I'd have to ban myself) but unless there is something in LA state law that I am missing, it does not violate the law.

    Do I understand that you work for the same company, and that you have an open workers comp claim against them? I have a vague idea that might help you but I want to be certain I have the facts straight before I try it out.
    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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    • #3
      cb. you read it correctly he was an employee there and he has an open WC claim with them. He had to resign as he was unable to do the job with restrictions.


      NewFather. hopefully cb will have something up her sleeve that will help you. Personally I know of nothing. If fact there is no legal requirement that they allow her the 6 week unpaid leave as cb corrected stated they are not affected by the FMLA. Of course that would change if they had a written LOA policy for all employees but you have indicated that they don't. In reality they could term her for excessive absences. Of course that wouldn't look too good on them from a "have a heart" angle. How much will the ins premiums be for those 6 weeks she will be out for maternity leave?

      KM
      Last edited by Kick Me; 10-16-2007, 10:52 PM.
      Information posted by me is my "OPINION". I do NOT give legal advice to anyone as like most here I am NOT an attorney.

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      • #4
        There is a law in La. that employers with 25 or more employees in the state of La. must allow pregnant employees unpd. leave of up to 6 wks. for a normal pregnancy & up to 4 mos. if medically necessary.

        I don't know if they have 25 or more employees in the state of La. or just the 13. It didn't say anything about employee keeping their health benefits while out & the employer to continue to pay whatever they would pay if employee was not on leave. ... or anything about keeping other benefits that they would get to keep if they were out on other types of unpd. leave.
        Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

        Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

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        • #5
          Assuming I am right about the workers comp claim, then I would look at what has happened with other employees who have taken any kind of extended leave. If all of them have had their benefits cancelled also, then I'm afraid you're out of luck. If all of them have been able to keep their benefits in place, then I would IMMEDIATELY contact an attorney to see if he thinks a retaliation claim for the workers comp claim is a viable possibility.

          I am reading it that there are 13 employees total. If I am wrong, please provide the total number of employees because it could change part or all of the answer.
          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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          • #6
            In the state they would have 25 employees (part and full time combined), but just 13 in the 75 mile radius. I don't know of them paying anyone because their employees have been there for longer than 10 years, and have 6 weeks vacation time so they just use that. I really hate there view that the FMLA is "the stupid act" and we can do whatever we please. The insurance is going to be close to $100 a week that we have to pay, and we are not able to fork it over before she takes leave.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by NewFather2B View Post
              In the state they would have 25 employees (part and full time combined), but just 13 in the 75 mile radius. I don't know of them paying anyone because their employees have been there for longer than 10 years, and have 6 weeks vacation time so they just use that. I really hate there view that the FMLA is "the stupid act" and we can do whatever we please. The insurance is going to be close to $100 a week that we have to pay, and we are not able to fork it over before she takes leave.
              She don't qualify for FMLA, regardless of their feelings about it. Apparently, she DOES qualify for the 6 weeks unpaid leave.
              Please no private messages about your situation.

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              • #8
                I agree with you but they are entitled to their opinion.

                The problem is that it doesn't sound as if FMLA is going to apply no matter how you slice it. If it did, they would be required to continue her health insurance benefits.

                Since they do have 25 or more employees, they must, under LA state law, provide her with 6 weeks of unpaid leave, but I have no information as to whether that law requires them to continue her health insurance. You might give the state DOL a call and see what they say.

                But additionally, if you sincerely feel that your w/c claim is the basis for their decision, I would urge you to speak to an attorney.
                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.

                Comment


                • #9
                  If you think this is retaliation against your wife because of your WC claim, talk to an attorney. Not every state recognizes third party claims of retaliation. It is well worth an initial consult or if you already have an attorney helping you with your claim, run it by him or her to see where LA falls on this matter.
                  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.

                  Comment

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