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Allen M., Esq.
Allen M., Esq., Employment Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 18790
Experience:  Employment/Labor Law Litigation
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I got pregnant less than a year after I was employed by a company.

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I got pregnant less than a year after I was employed by a company. My job security was not covered by FMLA unless a year after employment. After my maternity leave, I was told by my boss that my position is now part time because during my leave then discovered that my job can be done in a less amount of time. I now receive less than half of my salary and the money does not even pay for gas, daycare etc. My boss refuses to lay me off so I can get unemployment. Can they do that in Illinois even though am not covered by FMLA? Can I still get unemployment if I quit?
Thank you for your question today, I look forward to assisting you. I bring nearly 20 years of legal experience in various disciplines.

Yes, they can do this in Illinois and almost every other state, because FMLA didn't apply to you. FMLA had to be passed in order to give people protections when they went out on leave for medical issues, but FMLA has its limitations and you've run squarely into one of them unfortunately.

Quitting a part time job will not result in your getting unemployment. Unemployment will consider it unreasonable to give up part time consideration (your payment) without good cause, and while I understand your position, it is not legally good cause because the employer has done nothing illegal. Unemployment is going to consider it unreasonable to quit because you are still being paid more than your unemployment rate would be, while you still have time to seek full time employment due to your lessened work schedule.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Another issue is my boss yells at me and the other staff all the time. We are all afraid of asking her questions because she talks down to us and make you feel worthless. The work environment was so hostile that HR knows about it but as soon as they talk to her it will stop. But she starts right back again. What can I do about it?

Well, you used the word "hostile" which as become a buzz word in the employment law community. The problem is that everyone is using it wrong.

"Hostile work environment" was defined by the Supreme Court of the United States. It includes behavior like you are talking about, but there is a very important second ingredient that must be present. The harassment has to be based on discrimination due to race, religion, gender, age, disability or FMLA use.

From your statement, this woman treats everyone poorly, which is generalized harassment. Unfortunately, that isn't illegal in this country yet. The Supreme Court specifically stated that our employment laws are not a civility code, intended to make employers treat their employees fairly. Instead, ours laws are narrowly purposed to deal with specific issues of discrimination.

Some states, seeing a problem with that decision, have tried to pass workplace dignity laws that would make generalized harassment illegal, but none have managed to pass at this time.
Allen M., Esq. and other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
I see that you rated my service as "ok."

Did you have some other question that you had, which I didn't answer? I want to address any questions you have.

Or rather, are you (understandably) upset about the nature of the law in your situation and how it doesn't seem to help?

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