Some new parents don’t want to come back to work full time after giving birth. They may prefer a part-time schedule, using.
But you don’t have to allowfollowing birth unless the infant suffers from a serious health condition. If the baby is healthy, you can require employees to take their entire at once and return to full-time work.
Recent case: When tax attorney Ji became pregnant, her law firm allowed her to take time off for medical appointments, birth and recovery. After she returned to work, Ji found her regular 60- to 70-hour weeks interfered with her ability to breastfeed and care for her baby.
She requestedleave and permission to work from home. Her request was denied. Shortly after, she was terminated during a reduction in force.
She sued, alleging interference with her.
But the court said she had no case. It noted that intermittentleave for new parents requires the employer’s consent. Otherwise, the employee can’t take intermittent leave. The only exception is when the child has a serious health condition. (Kim v. Goldberg, et al., No. 10-CIV-6301, SD NY, 2012)
Final note: Don’t forget that most employers are now required to provide breaks (and space) for nursing mothers to express milk. While this solution might not have been Ji’s preferred one, employers should offer it to new mothers who complain about their work schedules.
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- Court: No tacking wrongful discharge claims onto FMLA suit
- Make sure handbook spells out maternity leave terms
- Consider more leave, different job as ADA accommodation after FMLA leave expires
- You can't ask employees to sign away FMLA rights