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Pregnant wife being "forced" to leave...LOOONG

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  • Pregnant wife being "forced" to leave...LOOONG

    This is going to be long, so I apologize in advance...

    My wife is about 7 months pregnant. She has worked for the same company for 1.5 years. She got pregnant before at this job (and miscarried). At that time, she was told by her manager that the maternity leave policy was 12 weeks, with 6 or 8 weeks paid. They later changed the policy (and it affected her manager as well) to be 12 weeks with 8 weeks at 60% pay...moving forward

    In August, my wife had her 1 year review. It was glowing, and she got the highest raise possible. Right after that, her manager went on maternity leave. Just before her manager went on maternity leave, they hired another person at the same level as my wife. During the maternity leave, my wife was responsible for her job, covering the receptionist, the job of her manager, the job of a person who was terminated (replaced by this new woman), and training in the new woman.

    Things were going along fine...then my wife stopped being assigned projects, the position she was promised in her year review was given to the new woman, things kept getting worse.

    Yesterday, my wife was called in to her manager's office and "talked to." Her manager told her that her performance was poor, and she wasn't qualified to do anything except answer the phones. She said that 2 other managers have complained about her performance, and she was put on probation. She is to come up with an action plan, by Thursday, detailing how she's going to rectify this situation. There were quite a few more insults thrown at my wife during this meeting.

    Last night, my wife called one of the managers who was mentioned, by name, as being upset with her performance and asked if they could meet today to discuss what things she could work on. He said, "I'm going to have to talk to <her manager>, and have her refresh my memory as to what I might have said that made her think I was upset or unhappy with your performance." This isn't the first time my wife's manager has lied about people saying things.

    This morning, my wife sent her manager an email detailing the steps she was taking to prepare this "action plan," and also requesting several things in writing; a copy of the "performance review" that she was given yesterday, a copy of some policies regarding sick time, and some other documentation. Shortly after sending the email, she was called in to her manager's office again, and told "friend to friend and not manager to employee" (her manager's words) that she could probably get my wife a severance package that was better than the maternity leave package if my wife didn't want to return after her maternity leave was up. She said she didn't think that legally she could talk to my wife about a severance package, but that it should be ok if she mentioned it "friend to friend."

    That's the long and short of it. I have a list of questions, so I'll just list them out...

    1) Is there anything illegal in mentioning a severance package?
    2) Is there a way for my wife to request, in writing, a detailed description of the severance package?
    3) Has the manager done anything illegal, or borderline illegal thusfar?

    To me, it sounds like her manager has decided, for whatever reason, that she doesn't want my wife to work there any more, and that she was setting her up to be fired with cause. Now it sounds like she has realized that there won't be any cause to fire her, so she is trying to get her to take a severance package and leave the company.

    I'm looking for any thoughts, any advice on how to proceed, and any answers to my questions.

    Thanks so much, and I'm sorry about the length. Just thought you might need some background on the situation.
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