What can I do if my employer has pretty much told me that I was fired while I was on maternity leave?

UPDATED: Mar 29, 2012

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What can I do if my employer has pretty much told me that I was fired while I was on maternity leave?

They said I would have to do another application and another background check, etc. I just had a baby and am now I’m trying to return to work. They have said I was pretty much fired. They said they messed something up and that there was nothing they could do about it. That they had called someone and nothing is going to be done that I needed to be rehired. Can they do this to me?

Asked on March 29, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Tennessee


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The law prohibits discriminating against a woman due to pregnany--that does not mean that she cannot be terminated while pregnant due to unrelated reasons, but if it appears that the job action is actually harassment or discrmination based on her pregnancy, that is illegal.

If they do rehire you--as annoying as it is to redo the application, background check, etc.--and you do not suffer any significant loss from this experience (e.g. you get rehired at the same salary; benefits are reinstated; etc.), there is probably no other action worth taking.

On the other hand, if you are not rehired or suffer any loss, it is worthwhile to speak with an employment law attorney in depth about the situation, to see if you may have a legal claim for compensation. Good luck.

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