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Joseph, Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
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Experience:  Extensive experience representing employees and management
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can i be terminated while on maternity leave? i was placed

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can i be terminated while on maternity leave? i was placed on STD because of complications with my pregnancy. i started my STD on 2/29/2012 and my delivery date is on 7/21/2012 but i cannot return to work. HR sent me a warning letter stating that if i did not returned to work before June 30th my employment would be terminated effective July 1st, 2012. will i continue to get my STD pay? is it legal for them to laid me off?
Hello and welcome to JustAnswer.

I'm sorry to hear about your situation and hope I can help.

Unfortunately, you are only allowed twelve weeks of pregnancy leave, during which time your employer cannot terminate you and is required to provide you with medical benefits. Since that twelve weeks would have ended by June 30th, unfortunately, your employer can terminate your employment at that time if your are unable to return to work prior to then.

If your employer terminates your employment, you likely would have your short term disability benefits terminated if they come from your employer.

If that happens, I would suggest that you apply for state disability benefits for your pregnancy, which you can do using the forms available online here:

Additionally, you may have a claim against your employer for discrimination on the basis of a disability for failing to provide you with a reasonable accommodation for your complicated pregnancy (of additional time off).

I would also suggest that you file a complaint with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing regarding discrimination due to pregnancy in violation of the Fair Employment and Housing Act.

You can file a complaint using the instructions available online here:

The Department of Fair Employment and Housing will investigate your complaint on your behalf and either file suit on your behalf or issue you a right to sue letter so you can pursue your claim against your employer through a private attorney.
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