Legal Law

Can an Employee Be Wrongfully Terminated for Taking Paternity Leave?

Wrongfully Terminated for Taking Paternity Leave

While there are many reasons that a company might terminate an employee, doing so while the employee is on family and medical leave can be a violation of state and federal employment laws. In these cases, the employee may be able to pursue legal action and recover compensation for damages such as lost wages, emotional distress, medical bills and more.

In some instances, wrongful termination can occur because an employer retaliates against the worker. In this type of case, an employee could be fired after complaining about harassment or discrimination at the workplace, cooperating with investigations into these matters or exhibiting their legal rights. Additionally, employers cannot fire employees if they have made complaints suggesting the company is violating wage and hour laws or other safety regulations.

Unfortunately, many workers face retaliation or other forms of employment discrimination after they take leave for pregnancy, childbirth or related conditions. This includes retaliation that can come in the form of salary reductions, denial of promotions, denied job assignments and more. Additionally, in some cases, an employer may terminate an employee while they are on leave because of budget cuts, financial setbacks or other issues that do not directly relate to the worker’s performance on the job.

Can an Employee Be Wrongfully Terminated for Taking Paternity Leave?

If you have recently returned to work from maternity or parental leave and were fired soon after, you may have grounds to file a lawsuit against your employer for wrongful termination. You can pursue a retaliation or wrongful termination claim under state and federal employment laws, including the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978.

The law says that companies can’t fire an employee for using their FMLA or PDA leaves, but it doesn’t say anything about laying off a worker while they are on leave or replacing them with someone else while they are out on these types of leaves. If you believe your employer laid off or replaced you in order to get around the protections offered by these employment laws, then it may be a case of illegal discrimination and you should consult with an experienced L.A. employment lawyer as soon as possible.

It’s also important to note that just because you’re on a leave does not mean you can’t be retaliated against in other ways, such as by being subjected to verbal or physical harassment, being denied return-to-work accommodations or being passed over for promotion.

If you believe any of these things happened to you after returning from leave, then you should contact a knowledgeable employment attorney for help filing a complaint with the EEOC or your local department of labor. The sooner you start this process, the sooner you can receive the compensation you deserve. To learn more about pursuing a claim, contact our firm today. We can schedule a free consultation and review your options for legal solutions. Our firm has recovered over $140 million for our clients.

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