My wife’s employer is insisting that she be available by phone and e-mail during her maternity leave. Is this common practice?

We live in California. Small company (12 employees). Wife f1st female to go on maternity leave. No human resources department. No maternity policy in place at time my wife notified them of her pregnancy.

Asked on June 16, 2009 under Employment Labor Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

If she takes leave under the federal Federal and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), she does not need to work while on it. (Note though: FMLA leave is upaid.)

If she uses vacation or sick days, then again, she does not need to work on them.

If the employer is making some other accomodation for her, such as allowing her draw salary while on leave, they may put conditions on them, such as requiring her to work or at least be in contact.

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