Can an employer take me off the scheduleif I am not ready to take maternity leave?

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Can an employer take me off the scheduleif I am not ready to take maternity leave?

I want to take my leave when I go into labor; my employer wants to take me off the schedule 2 weeks early.

Asked on February 8, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Minnesota

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Employers are forbidden to discriminate in employment against women due to pregnancy; this includes reducing hours or pay, suspending, terminating, forcing out on leave, etc. The protection is not absolute--if  you can't do the job (e.g. it involves lifting which you can't do) or cannot do it safely (e.g. it involves X-rays or handling chemicals), then the employer may take action, including putting you on leave; an employer does  not need to expose itself to liability, or pay you when you can't do the job. But if you can do the job, the employer cannot discriminate against you or force you to take leave. The employer is allowed  to discuss the matter with you, as long as their is no coercion, harassment, etc., to see if it would be better for you and it both if you took leave early, but that's the limit of it.


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