After giving birth, you need time to recover from delivery and bond with your baby. If you have worked for a company with at least 50 employees for at least one year, you have job protection under the Family and Medical Leave Act. You may take 12 weeks of unpaid leave and your employer must hold a similar job.
If your employer makes certain employment decisions while you are taking advantage of your right to protected family leave, it may constitute retaliation on the part of the company.
Maintaining inconsistent employee requirements
Your employer can legally implement a policy requiring employees to submit medical documentation before taking early leave for a condition related to pregnancy. However, the policy must apply to all employees equally. Otherwise, you may have a legal claim for discrimination.
Forcing early leave
Your employer must allow you to remain at work throughout your pregnancy if you choose to do so. As long as you can still conduct your job duties, the law prohibits the company from mandating early leave. The company can also not require you to return from pregnancy leave before 12 weeks have passed.
Changing work responsibilities
Your employer may not change the conditions of your job because of your pregnancy as long as you can still fulfill the core duties. If you return from family leave and find that you miss out on promotions, lose job assignments or even receive a termination notice, the company could be guilty of discrimination.
Expressing discriminatory attitudes
You should be wary of comments by your employer about your ability to do your job and parent your child. Employers may not presume a female employee’s child care duties will interfere with her job duties, that she should want to stay home rather than work, or that she will be more likely to work part time or require flexible hours.
Be aware of your rights if you are planning to conceive or are currently working during pregnancy. You can file a federal complaint for actions that constitute discrimination and retaliation.