Do I have to keep open a job for my pre-school teacher after her maternity leave?

I am the director in my church daycare. We have 25 employees and one of my teacher asked to take 4 months off for pregnancy. Our handbook does state an employee can take off for 4 months and that a position is not guaranteed. Do I have to provide a full time position for her when she returns? I have to have another teacher in her position while she is out and can’t see firing someone so she can return. She is not that desirable an employee

Asked on April 25, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Indiana

Answers:

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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Under the FMLA, employees must have worked a minimum of 1,250 hours for the employer and must work for at least 1 year at a site where at least 50 employees of the same employer are working within 75 miles. Accordingly, unless this worker somehow had 4 months of PTO to cover their absence, you can terminate their employment without legal consequences.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

No, you do not have to hold her job for her: with 25 employees, you are not subject to the Family and Medical Leave Act (and 4 months would be longer than she would be allowed under the FMLA, anyway), and you policy handbook does not obligate you to hold her job, either. You can replace her, based on what you write.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.