I am on maternity leave and I found out my employer replaced me, is there anything I can do?

Our firm frequently receives calls from potential clients who are either on maternity leave or have returned to work from maternity leave and their employer has taken some type of adverse action against them. A lot of times, an employer is not too happy when he finds out an employee is pregnant because this would mean a long leave of absence and time away from the office. Or employers know that when the female returns to work, she might have to frequently leave work early and take time off to care for her newborn.

Under California and Federal law, an employee can take up to twelve work weeks of leave to birth and care for the child. This is known as maternity leave and it is a protected leave under the law. This means that the pregnant employee’s employer must keep her position open until she returns from maternity leave.

Occasionally, an employee may be terminated while on maternity leave or right when she returns from maternity leave. If the termination was motivated by the pregnancy, maternity leave, or disabilities stemming from the pregnancy, this type of conduct by the employer is unlawful. It is a violation of law for an employer to terminate an employee because she is pregnant. So, to answer the question, “Is there anything I can do?” Yes, there is. If you have been terminated while on maternity leave or upon returning to work after maternity leave, then contact our law firm immediately to see if you have a potential case. Lastly, if you have informed your employer that you are pregnant and they are taking adverse action against you, or have terminated shortly after you informed them of your pregnancy, call our firm for a free consultation.