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LawTalk, Attorney
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 35406
Experience:  I have 30 years of experience in the practice of law, including employment law and discrimination law.
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I went on maternity disability on March 1 and returned to work

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I went on maternity disability on March 1 and returned to work September 1. I owe my employer my share of health insurance for the six months I was gone (approximately $2000). As part of my benefits, I am entitled to two weeks paid maternity leave which I have not taken yet since I was on disability. Can I use my two weeks maternity leave to "payback" what I owe for my health insurance? Is that illegal or is it at the preference of my employer?
Good afternoon,

I'm Doug, and I'm very sorry to hear of your situation.

While you cannot force your employer to accept your 2 weeks of leave as partial payment, or payment in full for your medical premium you owe the employer, the employer may certainly agree to accept it as such.

The issue is really not all that critical, as you can simply ask for the pay for 2 of the weeks that you were out, and then turn around and pay the employer back. The only difference would be that if you did it that way, the employer would have to withhold taxes from your pay for the two weeks---whereas if they wrote it off, they would have no accounting paperwork for the transfer back and forth, and you would get more of the premium paid off.

So, by all means, ask the employer to allow you to do that.

You may reply back to me again, using the Reply to Expert link, if you have additional questions.

Would you please rate me highly now, based on my assistance to you in understanding the law.


I wish you the best in 2012,

Doug
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Doug,


Is there a legal clause that says if this legal? She said that maternity leave is calculated differently than vacation leave and that is why it is not acceptable.

Good afternoon,

You just said that you were entitled to two weeks paid maternity leave. Did you receive disability pay while you were out? If so, and your employer agreed for 2 weeks to make up the difference in your pay---then they would not have to pay you your full salary for those two weeks---but would make up the difference between what you received from disability, and your usual pay.

But it is certainly legal for you employer to apply money that owe you to a debt that you owe them. That is not a problem.

You may reply back to me again, using the Reply to Expert link, if you have additional questions.

Would you please rate me highly now, based on my assistance to you in understanding the law.


I wish you the best in 2012,

Doug
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I did receive disability, but I received no money from my employer nor did I utilize any of my vacation time or maternity leave time. I guess the question is: Is my paid maternity leave (the two weeks that my employer handbook says I am entitled to) different than regular vacation time?

Hi Monica,

 

You asked: I guess the question is: Is my paid maternity leave (the two weeks that my employer handbook says I am entitled to) different than regular vacation time? Yes it generally is different with CA employers. But to be positive of the true meaning of the benefit, you will have to look in the employee handbook and see how the policy is specifically spelled out. What the employer typically means when they say that you get two weeks paid maternity leave is that they make up the difference between what you are paid from disability insurance.

However, if the handbook is silent on the method of payment, and merely hold that you get two weeks of paid maternity leave paid b the employer---then you have a good argument that you should be paid the full amount.

You may reply back to me again, using the Reply to Expert link, if you have additional questions.

Would you please rate me highly now, based on my assistance to you in understanding the law.

I wish you the best in 2012,

Doug

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