My Job Is Know Longer Available for Me After Maternity Leave What Do I Do????

Updated on March 22, 2011
A.B. asks from Anderson, CA
17 answers

Around 4 months pregnant my dr. orders me to take my leave early do to my horrible sciatica and another nerve over lapping it that the baby was laying on. I confirmed with my boss that i am diffidently coming back to work after my little girl is born. I had been at my job for 4 yrs and was confident they would hold it for me due to my dedication to the company. once my maternity leave was about to run out i tried to call and text my boss so i could get back to work, but he repeatedly ignored me. one night my dads bday i had a couple drinks with him while daddy was at home with shyann and my boss contacted me and asked me to work i told him i wasnt able to come in because i was uncomfortable working after a couple of drinks. he told me he still wanted me to work the following morning, i felt that this was the best time to ask for a raise since i had been there for 4 yrs and barley making over minimum wage. He said NO. So i asked him if he was offering my job back or did he want me to just work for one night??? and he would not talk to me after that. Now he has hired a new person in the position which i was suppose to get back. I have no idea of my leagle rights and i have no idea who to contact PLEASE HELP OR I WILL LOSE MY HOME thank you so much for taking your time read this. A. and 2 month old baby shyann. i am listed under my fiances name in here if anyones curious lol

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So What Happened?

i begged and pleaded for my job back... he finally called me back and gave me one day a week, after i learned that- that was all i was going to get i applied for another job. they called me back and i got a new job. I am SOOO thankful to find a new work place. i will now have benifits, health insurance, personal leave, vacation and i can start my 401k anything to better my future for my daughter, after a year of working at my new job i will start a college fund for her so she can have a great life. I appreciate everyone's inputs and opinions. For the people with sarcastic remarks please do not comment. People get on here for help not to be patronized. God bless you all and good luck.

More Answers



answers from New York on

Wow- it sounds like your job was available to you, but that you got yourself fired due to your behavior.

Technically, you are "legally" allowed to take medical leave for 6 or 8 weeks postpartum. Whether or not that is paid is entirely dependent on your contract. If you intend to take FMLA, your employer does not need to pay you for the additional time, but must hold your position open. You have to tell your employer ahead of time that you intend to take FMLA and there is paperwork involved. My guess is that you did not do this.

You have no legal rights b/c there's really strong chance that he will say that you were terminated due to your lack of responsibility and insubordinate behavior. Unfortunately, your decision to fall-back on sarcasm rather than waiting until an appropriate (non-alcohol induced) time to discuss your contract probably cost you your job.

You don't say what you do for a living, but I suggest you start working on your resume and start looking for a new job.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Start looking for a new position. By asking for a raise before you even came back to work, you kind of terminated yourself. Next time, don't ask for a raise until you have been back at work for several months, have a plan of action--showing what you have contributed to company etc, and can show what you will do for company in the future. Your reasoning was incorrect and i am sure your boss felt like you were trying to take advantage, so they found someone else to fill your place. best wishes


4 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

most if not all states are suppose to hold your job but...sounds like you over did your leave and didn't have short or long term dissability, then you asked for a raise and refused to start up work on a day needed because of drinking...they gave up on you...don't blame them by what I am reading. Short and long term disiability are out there for these exact reasons. If you used 12mo or more of leave then you basically fired yourself as that is more then allowed. You may or may not qualify for unemployement ( I am thinking not because of what happened) so job hunting is your option unless you want to be a continued stay at home mom.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Dover on

You were entitled to 12 weeks FMLA leave (which you exhalted prior to your child's birth). Asking for a raise before you even returned was probably the wrong move. Your next move should be unemployment and looking for a new job.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Modesto on

It kinda sounds like you self terminated on the night of the phone call. I dont think there is much you can do except look for another job or go talk to your ex boss face to face.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Atlanta on

The laws are different in each state. Here in Georgia by law they are required to give you your current job back or something comparable. I was a receptionist for a construction company when I became pregnant with my twins. I was put on bed rest at 28 weeks and delivered at 36 weeks. I took my 12 week maternity leave but the company was in bad condition and I knew that. However by law they had to offer me my job back and I was there for a month and then they let me go. They actually did me a favor....I didn't want to go back to work honestly but I didn't see any other way....but I knew the company was going under so I knew if I stuck it out then I would get unemployment. I have worked since I was 17 years old and I have put well into the when they laid me off I took full advantage of unemplyment. I was able to stay at home with my twins for the first year of their life and that is "priceless" so to say. Contact your local unemployment office and get assigned to a case manager. They should know the local laws and if anything they have done to you was "legal". It doesn't sound like they were within the guidelines to me but I am not an expert by any means. Check into this -don't delay.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

you need to contact (google them) the EEOC. It is completely illegal for your company to not hold a position for you. If you are out on leave, disability, etc, they do not have to hold your exact position for you, but they MUST hold A position at the company. good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Redding on

Once your doctor released you to go back to work, you should have gone in to see your employer if he didn't answer or return your calls. It would have been wise to write him a certified letter, return receipt requested, stating that you were released as of such and such date. That would have protected you in the event of any possible wrongful termination.
However, it doesn't sound, from your post, that you really wanted to go back to work. Some of these moms are correct. FMLA does not always automatically apply. First of all, your employer has to be bound by the guidelines and then you have to apply for it, etc. As I understand it, you don't get paid under FMLA, you are just protected during the time off.
Your employer may have given you super short notice that he needed you to return, but you shot yourself in the foot by telling him you couldn't because you'd been drinking. Of all things. It may have been the truth, but seriously. Then, you said you wanted a raise on top of it.
I can't see any logic behind that.
That was certainly not the time to enter into pay negotiations when all your employer was obligated to do was allow you to come back with the same seniority, if any, and the same pay you had before taking maternity leave.
I could be wrong, but from the outside looking in, as I said, it sounds like you didn't really want to go back to work.
I don't know what recourse you have and your employer can certainly fight it if you apply for unemployment. A person avails themself to return to work or they don't. I don't know if you can prove that you did that.

Just my opinion.


answers from Chicago on

You are only entitled to the protections of FMLA if your employer has more than 50 employees. If not, there is no requirement in general under the Federal protections for them to hold your job for you (this allows SMALL employers to eliminate you because they honestly need an employee at all times and can't hold the job). I am not sure how big your employer is and whether there are state protections for you ... but if your employer has 50+ employees, I would call an employment/labor attorney and get a free consult on your situation and rights. Good luck!



answers from San Francisco on

You have rights - you need to contact the State Employment Department - EDD now so they can help you figure out the best way to handle this - 800-480-3287 or 877-238-4373



answers from Seattle on

I am very impressed that you found such a great job with benefits for yourself given the current down turn in our economy. Congrats to you!!

However, in the future, I would recommend you never ask for a raise over the phone. It would be important to read the other person's body language. He was probably totally shocked and unprepared for that question. Sounds like 2 drinks is your limit, otherwise no telling what you'll ask for next.



answers from San Francisco on

Having been an employer I thought I would give my 2 cents worth.
No one that works a basic job that has the low pay you say you had generally does not have a job to go back to. So the fact that you were able to get disability for this time and then took him by surprise asking for a raise it doesn't surprise me that he found someone else. My concern with people who worked for me when it happened was they then wanted hours around the child and more. I am the mother of 5 so I fully understand the demands of a baby.
You left messages saying you wanted work, yet when it came you( for good reason-drinking-) turned it down along with the request for a raise. I am sure since he did call that he intended to keep you or why bother.
Since you have a child with this father he should be obligated to pay for child care and rent for his child. I have had people we know who have been able to work for fast foods to keep up with thier debts. Some have suggested that you contact the labor board- if you do then make sure you have all of your information correct and that you have any proof that you had a job to go back to verbal will not make it in a court situation. This will not be a free service and the legal part will be all on you.
How on earth did you get a house with such low income? I would like to share it with people.



answers from Sacramento on

I have to agree that you likely terminated yourself with the way you handled the situation when your boss called. One thing I'd like to point out in addition is that after reading your post with so many spelling and punctuation errors in it, I think you would benefit by getting some sort of help with those skills. No matter what you do for a living, a potential employer is not going to be favorably impressed if your writing skills are not a bit better than what I see here.
A question.. you mention that you are listed under your fiance's name. How much is he contributing to your living expenses? I ask because you seem quite desperate about your finances. While I understand that it often takes two working people to keep up a home, you may want to look at your living arrangements, and your fiance's contribution and see if there are things you need to address about those that would help you survive until you find new employment. It may be time for your fiance to become your husband so you can better pool your resources.



answers from San Francisco on

Check with the California unemployment office. If they can't give you answers they should be able to tell you who can. I'd also think they would want to help than take another claim. I found this link
I imagine it could come down to what was documented about your leave. Sit down and write down every call you've made to let you know your boss you were ready to go back to work. (dates, times or phone calls and texts).



answers from New York on

Depends on what California's employment laws are. This has nothing to do with going out for drinks or not making much money. Contact the Department of Labor. You may have had to make formal arrangements for going back to work. If your state has disability laws that include pregnancy, you may have been able to take advantage of that. If not, then there's likely nothing that can be done. You say your maternity leave was about to run out. What kind of leave did/do you have? If this is an informal policy, then you may need to find yourself a new job. With four years at minimum wage, I'd be looking anyway. And just to keep in mind for your next job, when you have not been to work in 6 months, it is NOT the best time to ask for a raise. Good luck



answers from Chicago on

Ok - In the State of Illinois they have to have a job for you they just do not have to give you the same job that you have had before. You have rights here! Is there a coprporate human resource director you can talk to? You have to make sure you handle everything correctly on your end! Also STOP texting - never never put things in writing. You lost me a little with your story with your dads b-day etc.... Asking for a raise - not the best timing. Unless it is a privately owned company there has to be someone you can talk to other then your boss! Tread lightly and Good Luck!



answers from Pittsburgh on

FMLA is a Federal Law but only covers you for 12 weeks and the employer must have more than 25 employees. It sounds like you are way past the 12 weeks so they may not legally have to give you a job.

Were you on covered by short/long term disability while you were off?

I agree that you never should have asked for a raise after being off that time. You agreed to work for that amount before so you can't expect them to pay you more now. If you feel are entitled to a raise then I would recommend you back it up with a solid CURRENT job performance and then show documented evidence as to why you are entitled to more. Even then they can say no.

This may be a lesson learned the hard way. If your old boss will not contact you then you may need to launch a new job search.

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