What can we do about my wife being denied unemployment and maternity leave/family medical leave?

UPDATED: Jun 15, 2011

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Jun 15, 2011Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

What can we do about my wife being denied unemployment and maternity leave/family medical leave?

During my wife’s last trimester her employer cut her hours down to 4 per week, even though she was still willing to work more. It then denied her unemployment, saying there were hours out there for her to have. Now it is denying her maternity leave/ family medical leave after having the baby. Is there anything we can do?

Asked on June 15, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Illinois


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

There might not be anything you can do about the maternity or family leave: while there are some laws, such as the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) which guaranty medical or family leave under some circumstances, many smaller employers are not covered by it. For FMLA, for example, only employers which have more than 50 employees within a 75 mile radius are covered. If you wife's employee is large enough to qualify, she they may have violated the law by not allowing her to have maternity leave; but if it's a small employer, they may not have done anyting wrong.

As to the issue of cutting her hours--sometimes, being cut down sufficiently in hours or shifts qualifies as being "constructively" (or effectively) fired, which would allow your wife to receive unemployment. Being cut down to 4 hours per week may be enough to be constructively fired, and it would be worthwhile appealing a denial and/or consulting with an employment attorney.

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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption