I took maternity leave and when I came back I asked for a certain amount of days and they gave me less is this something my employer can do?

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I took maternity leave and when I came back I asked for a certain amount of days and they gave me less is this something my employer can do?

I was forced to start my maternity leave
so I requested the 12 weeks. Upon
coming back to work I spoke to my
employer bout working 3 days a weeks
and they agreed to that until a couple
days before I returned they came to me
a told me that they weren’t able to do
that and could only do 2 days and my
stand in would take the other 2 days.
Now being back at work it seems as if
their trying to push me out or as if they
have a problem with me. Is there
something I can do?

Asked on July 15, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, New Mexico

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

If you returned to exactly the same number of days per week that you had been working pre-leave, they'd have to maintain you at that level, at least for a reasonable time: otherwise, they could be seen as retaliating against you for using maternity leave, which could be illegal. However, your question makes it sound as if you told your employer you could not work your previous full hours and wanted to work fewer days. If that is the case, then they are free to offer you fewer days or hours than you'd like (and could even terminate you for not working your full previous days or hours):
1) The employer, not employee, sets or determines days and hours worked, and an employer does not need to accommodate an employee in this regard;
2) It's not retaliation if the employee says she cannot or does not want to work her prior hours.


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