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Switched at birth: DCS women will get almost $1 million

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in Compensation and Benefits,FMLA Guidelines,Human Resources,Maternity Leave Laws

The New York State Department of Correctional Services (DCS) will pay $972,000 to 23 female DCS employees who were shortchanged by the department’s maternity leave policy when they became pregnant while on workers’ compensation leave.

DCS policy provided six months of paid leave for workers injured on the job. But women who became pregnant during that period were involuntarily moved to maternity leave when they gave birth. The switch was costly: The department’s maternity leave policy required the women to use accrued sick and vacation days first. Then, if approved, it provided sick leave with half pay, and finally sick leave without pay.

The EEOC charged that the policy resulted in lesser benefits for women because of their gender, violating the Equal Pay Act.

Note: Are your policies gender-neutral? Consider a periodic audit to ensure that your policies don’t favor one employee group over another.

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