Qualify for unemployment?

I went on maternity leave over the fall. I got my disability extended and my PFL just ended a few weeks ago. I called and spoke to the manager and she said for me to come in and meet with her. I did just that. She said she could give me 3 days a week and I could start this Friday. Then the next day she called to tell me that after speaking to her manager that they decided they couldn’t bring me back. I don’t understand what happened between then and now. She also didn’t seem happy that I would need time to pump milk for my baby. I also don’t understand how they don’t have work for me but yet they have a job ad posted online for the same position. Would this qualify me for unemployment? I need to supplement my income while I continue to look for another job. I have a 7 month old baby that I need to provide for and my rent is due soon.

Asked on July 20, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

No only should you be qualified for unemployment, since you have been terminated not "for cause" (i.e. not for doing something like insubordination, unauthorized absences, violating company policy, etc.), but you may have a claim for illegal sex-based discrimination: it is illegal to discriminate against a woman, such as by refusing to employ her, due to pregnancy or having had a child (since only women get pregnant, taking action against someone because of pregnancy or having had a child is seen as anti-woman discrimination). It would be one thing if they had eliminated your position entirely, finding, for example, that they did not need it; but to let you go and replace you under these circumstances implies the real reason is your pregnancy and need to pump for your child. You should contact the EEOC about filing a discrimination claim; you may be entitled to compensation.


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