If my sister just got fired from her job and she just had a baby 5 days ago, is that legal?

UPDATED: Dec 1, 2011

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If my sister just got fired from her job and she just had a baby 5 days ago, is that legal?

Asked on December 1, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, New York


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

The issue is *why* did she get fired? She can't be fired for having had a baby (that would constitute discrimination against a woman); nor could she be fired for having used valid maternity leave (such as Family and Medical Act Leave time off).

However, she may be fired for reasons unrelated to pregnancy and birth, such as if she had performance issues; if she stole; if she violated company policy; if she took time off from work without being eligible for leave; if the company is being restructured or downsized; etc.

The facts are critical--your sister may have a cause of action for reinstatement or compensation, if she can show that there was no valid, non-pregnancy/non-childbirth reason. She should discuss the situation in detail with an employment attorney to see what her rights may be.

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