No FMLA? That doesn’t mean you’re free to fire and replace new mother — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily

No FMLA? That doesn’t mean you’re free to fire and replace new mother

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Some employers mistakenly think that if they terminate an em­­ployee who isn’t yet eligible for FMLA leave, the employee can’t sue. While you may not be violating the FMLA, you may violate other laws that protect the worker.

Consider, for example, pregnancy. If a new mother seeks her job back after giving birth, but you replace her with a nonpregnant individual (male or female), you may be violating the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA).

Recent case: Kelly hadn’t worked for her employer for a full year when she gave birth and took six weeks of leave. During that leave, a female college student (who was not pregnant) performed her job. When Kelly called before six weeks were up and announced she was ready to return, she was informed her job had been filled.

Kelly sued, alleging pregnancy discrimination.

The court said her case could go forward based on little more than the fact that Kelly had been pregnant, gave birth, wanted her job back and was replaced by someone who was not pregnant. (Codrington v. Carco Group, No. 13-CV-2780, ED NY, 2014)

Final note: Pregnancy-related ­discrimination is a new focus for many state and federal agencies these days.

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