What to do if my daughter returned to work after just 5 weeks of maternity leave but was told her position had been absorbed and that she was no longer needed?

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What to do if my daughter returned to work after just 5 weeks of maternity leave but was told her position had been absorbed and that she was no longer needed?

A certified letter arrived today with a check for $5000 requesting a signature, release of claim, that the employers attorney wants returned in a week. What should she do?

Asked on October 3, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Arizona

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

She needs to take the check and the letter to an employment law attorney to review before she signs it.  The whole purpose of the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is to protect the jobs of people in your daughter's exact position.  If they are offering $5000.00 up front for a release, then it seems like they know that what they are doing is wrong.  If she signs and accepts the check though, she could waive some valuable rights and remedies.  She may still chose the accept the check, but considering this is an unusual quasi-admission, she really needs to have an attorney read what they want her to sign.  In addition to the $5000.00, they may also be requesting her to waive her right to unemployment compensation, which could end up being more than $5000.00 in the long run, especially in the current job market.  A consultation shouldn't last more than an hour and, as such, shouldn't cost very much.  If it preserves her rights to a better remedy under the circumstances, then it would be worth the nominal investment in information.


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