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What are my Rights While I am On Maternity Leave?

On Behalf of | Aug 15, 2017 | Employment Law

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 amended Title VII of the Civil Rights Act to include pregnancy as a protected class. With this law, it became illegal to terminate an employee for being pregnant. It also becomes illegal for employers to discriminate against pregnant women, parents, and prospective parents in any way, such as asking interviewees about their plans to start families and refusing to promote parents. Today, pregnancy-related needs must be treated the same as short-term disability needs, such as flexible scheduling and if the company offers it, paid leave.

Pregnancy discrimination can cause a victim to suffer substantial economic damages. Victims can seek compensation for these damages through pregnancy discrimination claims, which are best handled by experienced employment lawyers. 

You Have the Right to Continue to Receive Healthcare Coverage

While you are out on maternity leave, you have the right to continue to receive healthcare benefits from your employer-provided health insurance policy. If you choose not to return to work after your maternity leave is over, your company may require you to repay the healthcare premiums you spent during your maternity leave.

You Have the Right to Return to your Original Position or an Equivalent Position

Under the Family and Medical Leave act of 1993, individuals who take their 12 weeks of unpaid family leave have the right to return to their original positions once their leave is over or, if this is not feasible, similar positions with similar salaries. This is true for pregnant women as well as fathers who opt to take unpaid family leave.

You Have the Right to Return to Work When your Maternity Leave is Complete

Your employer cannot bar you from returning to work after your maternity leave. They also cannot make a rule requiring employees to take a specific length of time for maternity leave or require employees to go on maternity leave at a specific point in their pregnancies.

Work with an Experienced Tulsa Employment Lawyer

Before, during, and after your maternity leave, you have specific rights in the workplace related to your pregnancy. If you feel these rights have been violated, discuss your experience with an employment lawyer at Frasier, Frasier & Hickman LLP. Contact our office today to set up your initial consultation with our firm, during which we can examine your case in greater detail and offer legal advice.


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