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I Was Fired On Maternity Leave

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I Was Fired On Maternity Leave

While the United States is one of rare few countries in the United Nations that does not require fully paid maternity leave, our maternity discrimination laws have gotten better over the last 50 years. In particular The National Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA), put protective laws in place for the benefit of pregnant women in the workplace.

Here are a few of the benefits set into law by the FLMA just over two decades ago. Note: these laws apply to companies with more than 50 employees and to employees who are not among the top 10% highest paid employees in the workforce.

  • Allows up to 12 weeks unpaid maternity leave each year. This includes:
  • Newborn care
  • Post adoption care
  • Caring for a sick child
  • Caring for a sick spouse
  • Caring for a sick parent
  • Recovering from a personal illness
  • Employees must be given their job back
    • This could be the same job
    • This could be a comparable job
  • Employers must allow employee to use eligible health care benefits while on leave

In order to be eligible for maternity leave, full-time employees should have worked for at least one year. Part-time employees are eligible so long as they have worked a minimum of 1,250 hours in the last 12 months (an average of about 21 hours).

If you have been recently fired while on maternity leave, don’t hesitate to contact Goldman & Ehrlich. It may be that your termination is a violation of FLMA and other state and federal discrimination laws. Here is a story of a mother who was given verbal approval to take more than eight weeks of maternity leave only to find out that when she took it she lost her job. To her surprise, Massachusetts courts stood behind the employer’s decision, saying their state laws (set in place in 1972) only require 8 weeks of unpaid maternity leave.

While the FMLA expressly forbids employers from firing employees solely for using their maternity leave, some companies may attempt to fire mothers on maternity leave for other reasons. Even if your termination was said to be based on other factors, speak with our firm today. It may be that your wrongful termination claim may be upheld in court.

Goldman & Ehrlich Wrongful Termination Attorneys

Our team is uniquely prepared to represent your interests. Call us at 312.332.6733 today or contact our Chicago office online.








I Got Fired After Taking Off Work For Religious Reasons

Is it illegal to fire an employee for religious reasons? In the United States, it is. According to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 any discrimination against employees based on their religion is against the law. This includes discriminatory acts in:

  • Hiring
  • Workplace environment
  • Disciplinary acts
  • Promotions
  • Raises
  • Other job opportunities
  • Firing/job termination

Reasonable Accommodation Of Religious Practice

Title VII made these provisions for the benefit of religious employees by requiring employees to reasonably accommodate the religious practices of employees (or prospective employees). As long as the religious practice would not cause the employer any “undue hardship”, employers are required to make room for an employee’s religious adherence.

Reasonable accommodation of religious beliefs could include:

  • Scheduling flexibility
  • Work schedule substitutions or “swapping shifts”
  • Requests for job reassignments
  • Requests for lateral transfers

 When You Have Been Discriminated Against Due To Religion

If you have been recently fired from your job and you have reason to believe it was based on your religion, you may have wrongful termination lawsuit to file. If you asked to take off work for a religious holiday and were told you could not or reasonable accommodation was not given, you may have a workplace discrimination case. If you were fired for taking off work for a religious holiday or other religious reasons, don’t hesitate to contact an attorney.

Title VII protects you from this kind of treatment in the workplace and our team of employee discrimination attorneys is prepared to help fight for your personal and religious rights.

Goldman & Ehrlich Religious Discrimination Attorneys

Contact the dedicated Chicago employment attorneys of Goldman & Ehrlich today. Employees that need the benefit of sound legal counsel and the strength of vigorous representation for an employment legal dispute call us anytime at 312.332.6733 or contact our Chicago office online.


Defending Your Business Against Harassment Allegations

Since a few landmark cases in the 1970’s and the Clarence Thomas Supreme Court Justice confirmation hearings of 1991, state and federal laws and regulations pertaining to sexual harassment have continued to evolve. Most employers have gone to great lengths to protect their employees from harassment and sexual discrimination in the workplace. Yet it has become increasingly more difficult to keep up with the nuances and changes in discrimination laws.

What To Do When A Complaint Has Been Filed

Before you’re first move, thoroughly review your employee handbook and published disciplinary procedures and speak with Goldman & Ehrlich attorney. Here are a few things an experienced employment law attorney can help you navigate.

#1 Conducting Your Own Investigation

You’ll want to do your own investigation into the facts of what happened. Our team can help you ensure you are acting within the law and protecting yourself throughout your investigation. We may advise that you use someone from the outside who will treat all complaints as valid until proven otherwise, gather facts, and take copious notes to document findings.

#2 Giving Warnings Where Appropriate

When an employee is found to have been guilty of an act that is less severe than sexual harassment, a warning or a change in department may be all that is necessary.

#3 Terminating Perpetrator When Appropriate

If the employee’s claim is found to be true, you may have no choice but to terminate the employee responsible. Our team can provide appropriate legal counsel as to how to remain within the confines of employment law in this process.

#4 Adjusting Handbook And Procedures As Needed

The best defense of harassment charges comes in clearly defined handbooks, policies, and procedures. Speak with us about how we can review your policies and procedures and help sharpen them for the future. When harassment complaints are made and as discrimination laws evolve, it is good idea to reflexively review these documents on a regular basis.

Proficient Defense For Employers

When you need proficient defense against harassment charges we are skilled the trial attorneys you need. Leverage the benefit of our winning history having successfully defended numerous managers, executives and businesses from false allegations or sexual harassment.

Contact our Chicago sexual harassment attorneys

If your organization has been charged with harassment or any other employee discrimination complaint, fully employ the experienced counsel of Goldman & Ehrlich. Our team is uniquely prepared to represent your interests. Call us at 312.332.6733 today or contact our Chicago office online.