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Return pregnant employee to equivalent job

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in FMLA Guidelines,Human Resources,Maternity Leave Laws

Q. When an employee returns from maternity leave, do we have to give her the very same job she had or can she be put to work in a different type of position? —J.B., North Carolina

A. Under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA), your organization must treat an employee whose absence is caused by pregnancy the same way it treats employees with absences due to non-pregnancy-related disabilities. That means you'll need to review your organization's policies and past practices on disability leave to determine whether you're bound to provide the same job to an employee returning from maternity leave.

Also, don't forget about the FMLA if you are a “covered employer” and the employee is eligible. Upon returning from FMLA leave, employees (unless they're certain “key” employees) must be reinstated to their pre-leave position or to an “equivalent” job with the same pay, benefits and terms and conditions.

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