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Attorney2020
Attorney2020, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 2579
Experience:  I have significant experience in employment law.
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We had an employee leave on maternity leave January 15th. 2016.

Customer Question

we had an employee leave on maternity leave January 15th. 2016. She left several weeks before her due date of April 10th. She left without a notice just stating that her dr thought it best that she go on Maternity leave. We only had three employees at the time and she was our only technician at our Veterinary Center. This put us in a dangerous bind and we had to replace her immediately. It was a miracle that we found someone that night after I called a former employee out of desperation. The pregnant employee delivered May 15th. We were led to believe that we only had to hold her job for four months? Her Dr. said she cannot return until May 29th because she needs 6 weeks off total. Do we legally have to employ her if we are staffed? We are in California. Thank you!
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Attorney2020 replied 1 year ago.
Yes, you do. Otherwise you will run the risk of being accused of pregnancy discrimination under the California Fair Employment and housing Act Government Code 12940 (a). The employer has o provide reasonable accommodations to employees returning from maternity leave. One form of reasonable accommodation is granting the employee a little more time to recover from a pregnancy. In other words, steer clear of a lawsuit and return her to work.I hope that helped. Please ask any follow-up questions. Please rate my answer so that I may be credited for my time. I thank you in advance for your cooperation.
Expert:  hrpro37 replied 1 year ago.
Good Evening,In my opinion you could go ahead and terminate her because she is out of FMLA (12 weeks) and accommodating her additional leave would cause you an "undue hardship". An undue hardship is a clause in the fair employment standard act that states that if accommodating an employee will cause easily documented hardship for the organization, they do not have to accommodate them.It is also worth noting that just because you can do it won't prevent the employee from attempting to sue you so it may be worth holding out another 2 weeks and bringing her back.Feel free to ask any additional questions!Amber (10+ Years of Legal HR/Compliance Experience)
Expert:  Attorney2020 replied 1 year ago.
I hope that helped. Please rate my answer so that I may be credited for my time. I thank you in advance for your cooperation.