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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    California
    Posts
    397

    Default Threatening Termination After Maternity Leave

    My question involves labor and employment law for the state of: California

    This question involves my sister in law. I know a lot of you guys don't like that, and would rather have them post questions, but she lives 3 hours away, does not have a computer and is very young and naive when it comes to things. So please just help me!

    My sister in law started working at a pizza parlor when she was 16. She became the assistant manager once she turned 18 and has been the assistant manager until she took her maternity leave in November (doctors orders). She is now 20 years old.

    During her pregnancy, she continued to work full-time and always made her appointments on her days off, etc. She was an excellent employee. The "right hand man" to the owner, runs the restaurant she works at (the owner owns 4 restaurant chains). The owner seems to put all the responsibility on this guy and makes jokes when my sister in law tries to talk to him about issues with the manager guy (the right hand man).

    Throughout her pregnancy, the manager would make comments like: I want to punch you in the stomach, and the like. She didn't do anything about it legally, but did talk to the owner about these comments. The owner said that the manager was just making a joke. There were numerous times where the manager singled her out throughout her pregnancy. I urged her to document everything and to file a complaint against him, but she has yet to do it.

    Now she is getting off her maternity leave and plans to attend school a few days a week. She told this manager (whom she must go through about her schedule when she returns) about all of this and he told her that if she goes to school, she will not have a job there. There are roughly 4 other employees at that restaurant that attend school and have their schedule modified to fit their school schedule.

    Does my sister in law have anything to stand on? Basically her schedule is now more strict given she will be attending school in a few weeks. Are there any laws or directions you guys can give me so I can help her? (FYI: this restaurant is open 7 days a week, from 7am-10/11 pm... so there is plenty of time for her to work in her 40 hours a week).

    Thanks you guys, and sorry it's so long!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Oklahoma
    Posts
    695

    Default Re: Threatening Termination

    If she was on FMLA (which I doubt due to the small size of the company) then the manager is only required to give her job or an equal position upon her return. If she wants to go to school, then she is changing the availability of her employment and it can be terminated. The agreement that the other employees have do not matter. Discrimination only concerns sex, race, et, which is not mentioned here.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    24,436

    Default Re: Threatening Termination

    Does she believe that if she had not taken maternity leave, he would have been willing to modify her schedule?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    California
    Posts
    397

    Default Re: Threatening Termination

    The manager started treating her differently/bad the moment she told him she was pregnant. She worked up until two months before her due date (on doctors orders, not because she didn't want to work). I would believe that if she wanted to modify her schedule before getting pregnant, he probably would've been easier to deal with and compromised with her... but I can't say that for sure because I don't really know him.

    I mean couldn't that mean that he discriminated against her because of her pregnancy and now trying to make her life as difficult and stressful as much as possible. Having agreements and treating each employee extremely different, wouldn't that be considered discrimination... all right after she told him she was pregnant...

    An no, she was on paid family leave.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    24,436

    Default Re: Threatening Termination

    Paid family leave and FMLA are not mutually exclusive. How many employees does the employer have within 75 miles of her location?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    California
    Posts
    397

    Default Re: Threatening Termination

    I would guess that this employer probably employees 25 people in each of his restaurants. He has 6 restaurants so far within 75 miles of her location.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    24,436

    Default Re: Threatening Termination

    Sounds as if FMLA applies. However, the more I read it, the more I think that she doesn't have anything with regards to FMLA. FMLA requires that she be given her job back or one that is equivalent in all respects - if SHE is looking for a different schedule that doesn't count as a FMLA violation if he doesn't cooperate with giving her the schedule she wants.

    She can, however, talk to the EEOC or the state equivalent to see if they believe there's been any evidence of pregnancy discrimination.

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