I am 5 months pregnant and work for an insurance agent in Pennsylvania. There is only one other employee, and she is also pregnant (about 2 and a half months). My boss asked me how long I am planning on staying out of work for the baby, and I told him I anticipated 12 weeks (there is currently no established office policy on maternity leave). He said he will need me back by 6-8 weeks at most because my co-worker will also have to go on maternity leave (he has not pressured her to return early, only me). He basically said if I can't come back early he will have to let me go. Is this legal? And if it is legal, will I qualify for unemployment compensation once my 12 weeks is up?
State/Country relating to question: Pennsylvania
Hello I am a licensed attorney here to help you with your question, please review my response and do not hesitate to ask for clarification
The employer in PA, is allowed to terminate you at any time,
only the FMLA, would protect your job in these circumstances,
and the FMLA applies only to employers with 50 or more employees,
If you are terminated due to your absence,
you would be entitled to Unemployment Benefits,
Is my employer allowed to give me a different amount of Maternity Leave than my co-worker?
the employer is allowed to do this, unless the reason for their discrimination, is due to your race, age, ethnicity, or some other protected civil right.
If their is no office policy, the employer can make the rules as he wishes,
Am I able to get unemployment compensation during my maternity leave if my boss fires me before I go on maternity leave?
I believe I have to be able and willing to work to get unemployment...
If he terminates you earlier, you could be able to apply and be granted,
but you must be able to work, and look for full time opportunities,
If you can state that you will be able to work, and look for work, and were terminated without cause, you will be given unemployment benefits,
Should I wait until my 12 weeks are up before I file for unemployment so I don't get denied?
will it be unpaid time off?
Yes, he doesn't offer any Paid Maternity Leave.
if it is unpaid, you should apply when you are terminated, and claim you can work if possible,
If you can not work, and cannot look for another job, apply after the 12 weeks,
The only issue I see here, is that if you are not receiving wages for 12 weeks, and have not worked for the employer atleast 1-2 years, you may not qualify for benefits as per the PA rules.,
By the time I go on maternity leave, I will have worked for him for 2 and a half years.
But there's still the issue of not getting wages for 12 weeks
that may be an issue,
I am reviewing the law, in PA
ok thank you
To claim benefits, you need to have earned enough money during your "base year." The base year is the first four quarters of the last five completed quarters at the time your claim is filed. The money you made during your base year determines, in part, if you can collect UC and how much you can collect. And, you have to have been working at a job that's covered by Pennsylvania's UC Law.
Ok I make about $34,000 a year and work full time 40 hours per week.
You should be able to collect, I would apply after 8 weeks, not 12, to be sure,
Thank you for all your help... I feel a little better about it knowing I should at least get unemployment.
You can review the PA laws on Unemployment Insurance at the above link,
Ok great thanks again!
If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to ask
Will do. Have a good one!
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13 years experience, Union NYSUT lawyer
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