Want to know if my wife has a case for Wrongful Termination

UPDATED: Oct 2, 2022

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Want to know if my wife has a case for Wrongful Termination

My wife recently took leave from her position at a physician’s office in order to give birth and subsequently properly recover. In order to assist with this, the company she worked for offered short-term disability coverage but not FMLA. She recently reached out to her employer to discuss her return to work which her employer had already stated she would be reducing her from a 40-hour/week full-time position to a part-time, 40-hours every 2 weeks and her employer responded by telling her that they could no longer afford her position.

Asked on November 1, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Florida


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Short-term disability does not protect your job or guaranty a return. If she missed work without it being approved in advance (before she took the time) or using PTO to cover the absence or using FMLA (and you write that she did not), she could be terminated for absenteeism.
Even if she is not being, or could not be (e.g. the leave was approved in advance) terminated for absenteeism, IF the fact that they "could no longer afford her position" is true--e.g. the employer can show they don't have enough work for her, or don't need the position, or that their revenue is down or costs up, etc.--they could still terminate her. Employers may make legitimate business decisions even when an employee's absence was approved or legitimate.
IF, on the other hand, her absence was approved, covered by PTO, etc. and it is untrue that they no longer need or can no longer afford her position (e.g. they hired someone else to do the same job she did), then this may be illegal discrimintion based on her having been pregnant and giving birth, and in that case, she may have a wrongful termination claim.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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