If someone works at a big corporation and was pregnant when hired which her employer knew, can she now be threatened with termination when she leaves to have her child?

Asked on December 11, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, Ohio

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

The issue is whether she is either eligible for and uses FMLA leave (and since she'd have to work there at least a year first, and work a certain minimum amout of hours in the past year--you can find the exact requirements on the Department of Labor's webpage) and/or whether she has and uses sufficient paid time off (like sick or vacation  days) to cover her absence. Employers may terminate employees for unexcused absences, even if the absence is due to a medical condition, pregnancy, or childbirth; so unless the absence is "excused" by the use of FMLA leave or PTO, the employee may be terminated. 
If she does use PTO she earned for her absence and/or FMLA leave, she cannot be terminated for using them. 
Of course, if she was "pregnant when hired," then by definition she would not have been there a year and would not be eligible for FMLA leave. So it really comes down to how long she will be out and how much PTO she had.


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