Currently I am on maternity leave. I am scheduled to go back to work next Tuesday October 8th. I was told in late July by my administrator that he will be stepping down from his position and taking my position over. He tried to get me to come back to work early and take an accounting position. I of course declined and chose to stay on my maternity leave. Today my administrator contacted me and told me that there is another opening in the accounting department that he wants me to go after and that returning to my position will only be temporary.
Do I have any legal recourse to ensure I do not lose my position in the near future since I am not interested in taking the accounting position? Is there anything I can do to protect my job at this point since my administrator has already told me that if I don't go after the accounting position my job is only temporary? How long after returning from medical leave can the terminate me without the two being related? If I am forced into taking the accounting position is there any legal action I can take since I will no longer be a manager, my pay may be decreased etc.?
2 Answers from Attorneys
If the company is suffering economic issues, cutbacks, etc., then the discrimination / retaliation laws will not necessarily protect you from losing you job or being demoted, as long as they can show economic necessity, rather than actual discrimination or retaliation towards you. At an extreme example, if the company closes, you don't get to claim discrimination for losing your job. Sounds like they were trying to help or protect you, and you failed to understand that.
Call an employment law attorney to discuss. Most of us offer a free initial phone consultation. If you are out on FMLA or Pregnancy Disability Leave Act, you must be returned to the same or equivalent position. If you don't qualify for protection under those laws, your employer is still required to not discriminate against you because of your pregnancy or related leave.
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