Is there anything that I can do if I was forced to resign for being pregnant and having to deal with a health emergency caused by my pregnancy?

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Is there anything that I can do if I was forced to resign for being pregnant and having to deal with a health emergency caused by my pregnancy?

After being diagnosed with preeclampsia, mine and my daughter’s lives were at so stake I had to deliver 3 weeks early. I was 10 days shy of my year anniversary and was told that regardless I would be terminated because FMLA would not cover my leave until my year. I didn’t have sick time to cover the actual 7 days and they refused to simply allow me the days without pay. They also lead me to believe that if I resigned I could have my job back but if they actually fired me then I would have no chance in being rehired. They took advantage of me so they wouldn’t have to pay me unemployment.

Asked on March 31, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Louisiana

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

They probably can do this:

1) While an employee may not be discriminated against simply for being pregnant, the law does not require an employer to retain an employee who misses work without approval, without using sick days or other acrued PTO, or without using FMLA-provided leave. From what you write, you were not eliglbe for FMLA, did not have enough sick leave, and the employer did not choose to allow you unpaid leave--and the law does not require them to do so.

2) You say you were "forced" to resign, but legally, that is not the case--you chose to resign because you believed it would be better for you. You could have chosen to be fired, accepted there being no chance of rehiring, and accepted unemployment.

Therefore, it appears the employer could fire you for missing work, and you chose instead to resign. This is harsh and possibly unfair, but seems to be legal.


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