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Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
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Experience:  Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
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My wife work for a big Internet company in California She is now in her final weeks of h

Resolved Question:

My wife work for a big Internet company in California
She is now in her final weeks of her maternity leave and was informed by her boss that she is fired- she will receive a 60 days of full pay after her maternity leave is over - is this legal ?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 5 years ago.

LegalPro54 :

Hello and thank you for entrusting me to answer your question.

LegalPro54 :

I'm very sorry to hear that your wife lost her job.

LegalPro54 :

What was the stated reason for termination?

Customer: 14% reduction in headcount
Customer: In all divisions
LegalPro54 :

I see.

LegalPro54 :

California's Pregnancy Disability Leave Law protects a pregnant employee's job for up to 4 months.

LegalPro54 :

Unfortunately, however, that law only protects against termination stemming from the employee's absence, it doesn't protect against layoffs.

Customer: So iris legal....
LegalPro54 :

So in other words, an employer can't terminate a woman who takes 4 months off during her pregnancy because she's "never at the office," but a layoff unrelated to the pregnancy is permissible.

LegalPro54 :

It is legal unless your wife can demonstrate that she was targeted as part of the mass layoff due to her pregnancy.

LegalPro54 :

Do you have any reason to believe that she was targeted due to her pregnancy? Any statements from her employer that would indicate such?

Customer: How about "issues " with direct manager ?
LegalPro54 :

Issues relating to her taking time off for her pregnancy?

Customer: No, she has been highly respected and received several awards during the year
Customer: And bonuses
Customer: I can not prove it was due to her absence
LegalPro54 :

She will need to prove that her layoff was a subterfuge to terminate her due to her pregnancy.

LegalPro54 :

Or more specifically, due to her absence as a result of her pregnancy.

Customer: How do you do such a thing ?
LegalPro54 :

Termination for any other reason is not illegal.

LegalPro54 :

It is very difficult, which is why suits such as these are rarely successful, unfortunately.

LegalPro54 :

Any evidence would be admissible if it tends to prove that she was let go for this reason.

Customer: I understand
LegalPro54 :

Statements from management, a policy discouraging pregnancy leave, etc.

LegalPro54 :

I wish I could give you more favorable news, I sincerely do.

Customer: No , this is not the case here
LegalPro54 :

But I hope that you appreciate knowing how the law operates in this instance. If I could change it I would.

Customer: I understand, thank you
LegalPro54 :

Does this adequately answer your question? My goal is that you are absolutely satisfied with my response, so if you have any additional questions or concerns please let me know.

Customer: You answer my questions, and the $$ are your fair and square ....
LegalPro54 :

Thank you. I would be very grateful then if you would "accept" my answer. You will still be able to follow up with me at a later date if you find that anything is unclear or you require clarification.

LegalPro54 :

That will be at no charge to you.

Customer: Thank you
Customer: Good night
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