What can I do if I was promoted 4 weeks before I went on maternity leave and feel like my job has been targeted and I’m facing being fired or demoted when I return?

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What can I do if I was promoted 4 weeks before I went on maternity leave and feel like my job has been targeted and I’m facing being fired or demoted when I return?

Is it legal?

Asked on January 10, 2013 under Employment Labor Law, Massachusetts

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

It is not legal to fire, demote, or take other negative employment action against a woman because she is a woman or because she is pregnant. However, it is legal to take action against someone who is a woman or pregnant for non-discriminatory reasons, such as poor performance; excessive unauthorized absenteeism; violating company policy or supervisor instructions; a restructuring which did not target her because of her gender or preganany; etc.

If and when you suffer a negative impact--and a promotion is not itself a negative impact--if you believe that the negative impact is discrimination against you due to being a woman or being pregnant, you should then speak with an employment law attorney or contact your state civil/equal rights agency.

 


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