If when my wife went out on maternity leave her supervisor changed the department hours to hours my wife is unable to work?

Isn’t my wife’s job protected under FMLA?

Asked on December 11, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Maine


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Protecting someone's job under FMLA does not, unfortunately, mean that a company may not make legitimate operational or strategic decisions. Therefore, if the change in hours is for a legitimate business purpose--e.g., to provide better customer service; to align the hours with the hours of customers or different offices; to enable your wife's department to better coordiante it's work with other departments; etc.--then this is legal. The fact of your wife taking FMLA leave does not "freeze" her department and prevent changes.

On the other hand, if there is no legitimate reason for the change,  and it was made to retaliate against your wife for having taken FMLA leave, that would be illegal, and your wife may have a cause of action; in this event, if she thinks this is the case, she should consult in detail aboout the situation with an employment law attorney.

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