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Prior to going on maternity leave, I was told outright that…

Prior to going on...

Prior to going on maternity leave, I was told outright that I was more senior than another employee on my team with a similar but different job function. At that time we were at the same management level, but I have significantly more tenure. She has an MBA, I do not. I relinquished some of my duties to this person while I was on maternity leave. When I returned from leave, she was promoted to a level above me. Do I have legal ground to stand on believing that I lost seniority due to my leave?

Lawyer's Assistant: Because employment law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?

Massachusetts

Lawyer's Assistant: Has anything been filed or reported?

No I was just made aware of the promotion yesterday

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Answered in 7 minutes by:
3/9/2018
Law Educator, Esq.
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 124,455
Experience: 20+ Years of Employment Law Experience
Verified

Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.

The timing on this promotion is suspect as a retaliation for you taking protected maternity leave. The employer cannot penalize you for taking maternity leave and the fact this was done upon you returning is circumstantial evidence of such penalty.

However, if she has an MBA and you do not and the employer raises that as an issue and reason for promoting her over you, that could support the employer's defense and cause you to lose the case. Absent a written contract to the contrary, the employer can promote anyone they choose for any reason except unlawful discrimination based on age/race/sex/disability/national origin or in retaliation for you using protected leave.

You need to make a complaint to the MA Commission Against Discrimination for investigation, but just be aware if the employer argues her MBA was the reason for the promotion over you, they will not find discrimination.

Please do not forget to leave positive feedback by clicking on the 5 stars at the top of your page, as the experts are not employees of the site and get no credit for spending time with customers unless they leave positive feedback. Thank you.

Law Educator, Esq.
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 124,455
Experience: 20+ Years of Employment Law Experience
Verified
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