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Family leave case involves maternity leave

Balancing family and work is very difficult, as millions of young fathers and mothers will affirm. Typically, parents employed outside the home find that the demands of work preclude them from fully addressing family needs. Laws like the Family and Medical Leave Act are meant to help.

However, some parents feel that their rights are violated at their workplace despite the FMLA being the law of the land. One such case a woman who worked as a loss-mitigation specialist for a major insurance company. She is suing them, alleging both sex discrimination and pregnancy discrimination.

The woman began working for the insurance company in October 2008 and gave birth to her first child in May 2009. At that point, she took eight weeks of maternity leave off from work. In October 2009, she announced that she was pregnant again. In April 2010, she was placed on bed rest due to pregnancy complications. She then gave birth prematurely in May 2010.

At that time, the company told her that maternity leave for the second child would continue until August 12. However, her female supervisor called the woman and told her that the maternity leave would actually expire July 12. Reportedly, the supervisor also said that taking additional leave might wind up causing problems for the woman.

She returned to work July 19. When she did, she ran into issues about securing access to a lactation room in which to express breast milk. Those issues were not resolved to her satisfaction and figured into the lawsuit that she is now pursuing.

Cases like this underline the fact that FMLA issues are very multifaceted. Employers and employees can view them very different. An experienced attorney can help to sort out those issues.

Source: HL.BLR.COM, "Maternity and pregnancy discrimination: Was new mom constructively discharged?" Jane Pfeifle, Jun. 03, 2014

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