If I was out on bed rest with my pregnancy can my employer start me as a “new” employee when I get back?

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If I was out on bed rest with my pregnancy can my employer start me as a “new” employee when I get back?

I have been working for my employer for 4 years and with both of my pregnancies I was told that my employer will only pay for my insurance for 1 month and then I had to pay my part and theirs. Is that legal? Both pregnancies I had to be on bed rest. The first one I payed both parts and the second one I couldn’t afford it, so I had to cancel it. Now my employer is saying that when I return I will not receive benefits for 3 months as if I were a new employee. Is that legal? Also my employer offers 4 sick days and 2 weeks vacation a year, when I came back the first time I only got half each. Legal?

Asked on February 15, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I think that you should seek consultation from an attorney in your area not just on the insurance coverage issue but maybe to review the law as it relates to pregnancy.   But the logic of your employer does have a ring of truth to it.  Once you cancel insurance then it may be as if you were never insured under the law.  Certain laws require a continuation of coverage - either through COBRA or whatever source - in order for you to be even insured for certain conditions, although the law is slowly changing to discriminate against those who are ill and lose coverage.  Before you seek legal counsel call your State Department of Labor and your State Department of Insurance and speak with someone.  Good luck.


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