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Retaliation for taking maternity leave Florida

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  • Retaliation for taking maternity leave Florida

    Hi everyone. I believe my sister is facing retaliation and hostility at work for taking maternity leave, and am looking for some advice on how she should handle it. She has worked at a small, for-profit hospital for over 10 years. When she had her first baby, she worked up until a week before she gave birth, and took three months of leave after. And when I say worked, I mean WORKED. She still took every on call shift, would trade shifts with anyone who asked, worked 10-12 hours without complaining.
    With her second baby, she planned to do the same, and requested the three months off after her due date, and they granted it, which would have put her return date in early October. However, when she was 7 months pregnant, she started having some abdominal pain, and her doctor told her to take it easy. So she told her charge nurse that she wouldn't be able to take as many call shifts, and would need to take breaks every few hours, and would not be able to perform certain tasks, such as heavy lifting. The nurse ignored her request, and would put her on every surgery that required her to do lifting and standing for hours.
    A few weeks later, she gets a blood clot in her leg, and her doctor orders her on bed rest, so she has to start her leave a month early. Her doctor told her this would be medical leave, and would not affect her maternity leave (the doctor works at the same hospital as her). This was the beginning of June. In early August, one of the nurses at work calls to tell her that the charge nurse put her on the schedule for September, even though she was supposed to be out until October. She calls and they tell her she has to come back, and that her medical leave counts as part of her 3 month maternity leave. She submits a request to HR for an extension, and they don't respond until a week before the charge nurse expects her back, telling her she can take the extra leave, but they won't guarantee they will keep her job for her.
    So she goes back when they want her to, and is now being treated horribly by the charge nurse.
    The day before she went back, she saw that they had posted her position as open on the website, and when she got back they had cleaned out her locker and given it to someone else, and just dumped all her stuff into a box and left it on the floor. When she tried to talk to the charge nurse, she snapped "I don't want to hear it." As soon as she started her shift, the only other OR tech declared he was going on break, and then proceeded to do absolutely nothing for the rest of the day, leaving my sister to run from surgery to surgery all day, and then they made her stay 3 hours late to help with an emergency surgery, and sent the other tech home early.
    Sorry for such a long post, but does anyone have any advice for her? I've told her to keep a record of everything they say and do, but other than that I don't know. Thanks.

  • #2
    Under FMLA an employee is entitled to 12 weeks of job protected leave in
    each 12 month FMLA year.

    If time was taken off prior to birth (such as for a pregnancy related illness),
    the amount of time taken off before birth will count against the amount
    of time left to take after birth. It's a total of 12 weeks. After the 12 weeks,
    the job is no longer protected under FMLA. (I assume she was out on FMLA
    leave.)

    If your sister believes she is being discriminated against for taking pregnancy
    leave, she can file a complaint with the EEOC or the Fl. Commission on Human
    Relations or she might want to file a complaint with the US DOL - they can't
    terminate her or retaliate against her in any way for taking FMLA. The US DOL
    handles FMLA complaints & oversees the law.
    Last edited by Betty3; 09-08-2011, 01:03 PM. Reason: add info
    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.

    Comment


    • #3
      Things like reassigning her locker are not prohibited. If she was not there for 3 months, then others could use the locker. If she had inquired about extending her leave it makes sense to advterise the position. I am not sure why the other tech would care that she took leave but his refusal to work sounds like more of an issue between he and his supervisor and not he and your sister. I'd have sent him home too if he was refusing to work.

      If she believes her supervisor is retaliating then she can follow Betty's advice above.
      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


      • #4
        Originally posted by S_B View Post
        I've told her to keep a record of everything they say and do, but other than that I don't know.
        I agree that she should keep track of any discrimination/retaliation against her
        that she believes is due to taking pregnancy (FMLA) leave. So far she hasn't
        been terminated & based on just what was posted, I'm not sure she has enough
        to make a retaliation complaint yet. However, she should certainly make a
        complaint with the US DOL if she believes she is being retaliated against for
        using FMLA. They will investigate.
        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.

        Comment

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