Can I be terminated on maternity medical leave after having a C-section?

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Can I be terminated on maternity medical leave after having a C-section?

I had an incident at work while pregnant and was told could not return to work due to medical reason of the risk of loosing my baby. I worked per diem at a hospital for a year. Now I kept in contact with them all through out the time of medical leave and after giving birth to my child now after giving birth and they were told 2 weeks prior to my return date to work they send me a termination letter. They have 50 employees.

Asked on January 20, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, New Jersey

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

The key issue is why you were terminated. You can't be terminated because you were pregnant or gave birth, because of your marital status, or because you used a protected form of leave (e.g. FMLA leave) or a leave requested (e.g. if they wanted you off-site) or approved by your employer. However, you could be terminated for a wholly unrelated reason, like restructuring/layoffs, or if you had performance issues, or if you had unexcused absences (e.g. not due to FMLA leave or approved leave or the use of PTO), or violated company policies.
If you feel the reason was not unrelated to your pregnancy and giving birth, or was retaliation for using an approved or protected form of leave, then you may have an employment discrimination claim and should contact the DCR (Divison on Civil Rights) to explore it.


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