Q. Ouroffers paid leave for female employees who plan to return to work after the birth of the child. If the employee quits before returning to work, she’s required to reimburse the company for the paid leave. Is this lawful?
A. It is lawful, as long as women onare not treated differently than employees on other types of leave.
Neither Pennsylvania nor the federal government mandates any type of paid maternity leave. Pennsylvania employers therefore have flexibility in determining how to structure any such benefit.
Even so, employers should consider the negativeimplications of this type of a policy and the potentially harmful impact on recruitment. Also, as a practical matter, it likely will be difficult to recover money paid to a terminated employee, short of filing a lawsuit against her.