Do I have any rights returning to work after maternity leave if my job has been changed and office given away?

I will be returning to work from unpaid maternity leave on Monday. I am a senior production manager at a television company and am paid $85,000/year. I was told by my boss to call the week before my return to go over changes at work. I called 12/6 and left a message for her to call me back. I called again on 12/7 and left another message. I called again on 12/8 and my boss answered the phone. I was told that she didn’t exactly know what I would be doing upon my return. My office was given to 2 other employees and she didn’t know where I would be set up either.

Asked on December 9, 2010 under Employment Labor Law, Minnesota


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You may or may not have rights in this situation. For one thing, how large is your employer (i.e. how many people are employed there)? Also, how many hours did you work in the year before your leave? Additionally, other factors may or may not come into play. There is a good chance that you may have legal recourse under several applicable laws.

The Family and Medical Leave Act “(FMLA”) covers pregnancy-related leave. The Act allows qualified employees to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave to attend to family matters. A pregnant employee is eligible for FMLA leave if she: (1) has worked for the employer for at least 12 months (not necessarily consecutively), (2) has worked for the employer for at least 1,250 hours in the previous 12 months, and (3) works at or is assigned to a worksite that has 50 or more employees or which is within 75 miles of employer worksites that taken together have a total of 50 or more employees (all full-time government employees are covered regardless of the number of employees at a particular agency, school, or other public facility). Under FMLA, when an employee returns from leave, the employee is entitled to be restored to the same job or an equivalent job (same pay/benefits).

You may also have some coverage under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (“PDA”), the Americans With Disabilities Act (PDA, and applicable state law..

At this point you should speak directly to an employment law attorney.

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