I work full-time as a contract employee for a state building and came back from maternity leave 8 months ago and found out that I’m pregnant again?

I found out about 3 months ago that I am pregnant again; since then I have been having a rough time. My employer suggested reducing my hours, maybe taking a day off to schedule all of my appointments, a few weeks later they hired a temp to “cover” when I am sick or have appointments. After an appointment that took longer than anticipated yesterday, I received an email that for the next few weeks I would be placed to work in a different department to give me “more flexibility with my schedule” and the temp would get my position here at the front desk full-time. It seems to me that I am being pushed from my position.

Asked on January 8, 2013 under Employment Labor Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

While an  employer may not  discriminate against a woman in employment simply because she is pregnant, an employer can require an employee--even a pregnant one--to work all the hours and days she is required to, unless and only to the extent her absences are covered by the use of paid time off (e.g. sick days), by FMLA leave (assuming that  both she and the employer are covered, and the absences themselves meet the FMLA criteria--you can find information about FMLA at the U.S. Dept. of Labor website), or by a maternity leave or other approved absences which the employer previously agreed to, in advance. If you are missing hours or days which are not covered by one of these sources, then the employer is entitled to change your shifts or hours--or even to fire  you. The law does not make employers retain employees who cannot work the days and hours they are supposed to.

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Given what you have written, I suggest that you have a face to face meeting with human resources as well as your immediate supervisor to address your concerns and to document what you have seen happening at work as a safeguard to your position. Based upon what is discussed, confirm such in an e mail to those you met with.

If need be, then consult with a labor law attorney and/or a representative with your nearest department of labor.

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