Q: I was furloughed because of COVID-19 for my wife’s medical condition when I asked to return when all other employees
Come back in August from my department of which I was a salary manager they said yes but are taking my salary and manager title from me. But I have never had any type of verbal warning, written warning there should not be one thing in my employment file that would warrant or constitute them from taking my position away from me and give it to someone else. Almost like they are punishing me for being on leave or furlough. I wanted to file for Family medical leave but they told me we would do the furlough thing The Corporate Human Resources Manager told me when I asked her so am I laid off she replied no you are furloughed. So why take my salary and manager title and place me back as an hourly employee. To me that is discrimination. My wife suffers from Multiple Sclerosis which is a crippling disease it also destroys that persons immune system to fight off infections, viruses and other types of illness. Also she has a pacemaker and only one kidney covid 19 would be fatal for her.
A: I'm sorry for your situation. It's not clear what type of discrimination you are claiming here. You may be able to claim family responsibilities discrimination, otherwise known as caregiver discrimination. You would need to show that the employer reduced your pay and position, because of your furlough based on your caregiver status. If you are in Cook County, there is a specific prohibition for this type of discrimination. There may be actions available under broader discrimination laws as well. Seek an IL attorney for a confidential free consultation on your situation.
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