Can my employer reduce my role after maternity leave?

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Can my employer reduce my role after maternity leave?

I work part time for a nonprofit with less than 20
employees. Before my maternity leave I had
multiple responsibilities and logged an average
of 15-20 hours a week. Upon returning to work,
my role has been reduced delegated and
outsourced. I now anticipate logging just 5-10
hours per week.

Asked on February 19, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

They cannot reduce your role (or hours or pay) because you were pregnant, had a baby, or went on maternity leave: doing so would very likely be illegal sex-based employment discrimination (since only women become pregnant, treating an  employee worse due to pregnancy or maternity is generally considered anti-female discrimination). If you believe this is what happened, you could contact your state's equal/civil rights agency or the federal EEOC about filing a complaint.
You can have your role, hours, pay, etc. reduced after maternity for valid and wholly unrelated reasons, such as if they have lost grants or funding and needed to reduce and/or outsource your role for economic/financial reasons having nothing to do with maternity.


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