Can a company terminate you while on maternity leave?

I went on maternity leave 4 months ago. I checked with work last month to see how things were going. They said they needed to hire another person because the lady I trained to take my job while I was gone was getting behind. I told them to just hire summer help because I will be returning to work in August. They said Ok we will see what we can do. I called them this week and they told me they hired someone else permanently and I don’t have a position anymore. Is this legal? Can I collect unemployment now?

Asked on July 27, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Texas


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Depending upon the circumstances internally of an employer when an employee is on maternity leave, the employee who is with child or has child can legally be terminated. An example is when the company is struggling financially.

However, if the company is not struggling financially, the person who is taking maternity leave is entitled to have the position remain for the return post birth.

From you have written, what was done concerning the elimination of your job was improper. I suggest that you consult with a labor attorney and/or meet with a representative of your local department of labor about what transpired.

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