If I am on paid maternity leave, is not giving a raise I earned last year considered discrimination.

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If I am on paid maternity leave, is not giving a raise I earned last year considered discrimination.

I went out on paid maternity leave in December 2015. My
raise was to be effective on 2/12/2016. I did not return to
work until 6/10/2016. I am being told that my raise will not
be effective until the return date 6/10. If I had been working I
would have received this raise 2/12. I believe that I am
entitled to the raise retroactive to 2/12. I feel I am being
delayed a pay increase because I was on maternity leave.

Asked on June 22, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Arizona

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

This is not discrimination. First, bear in mind that leave is NOT the same as work--you are not providing value to the company while on leave: for example, employers do not need to let employees keep accruing PTO while out on leave. It is valid to not give employees PTO, bonuses, or raises while out on leave. Second, 6 months paid leave is not the law in the country--what your employer gave you is already above and beyond anything they were obligated to do. You received 6 months paid leave, based on what you write, when many employees get no leave at all, or at most 3 months unpaid. There is no basis for concluding that not getting leave while being paid to not work is discrimination.


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