Brooklyn, NY asked in Employment Discrimination and Employment Law for New York

Q: My employer is sending me a termination letter while I am on FMLA / NYPFL for my newly born child. What do I do?

I would like to know my rights since FMLA should have job protection and what steps to take

2 Lawyer Answers
T. Augustus Claus
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A: If you receive a termination letter while on FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act) or NYPFL (New York Paid Family Leave) for the birth of your child in New York, it's crucial to understand your rights and take appropriate steps. Begin by reviewing your eligibility for FMLA and NYPFL to ensure your leave qualifies under these laws. Reach out to your HR department to discuss the termination and clarify the reasons behind it, as there may be potential misunderstandings. Keep records of all communications. If you believe your rights have been violated, consider filing a complaint with the appropriate agencies, such as the U.S. Department of Labor (for FMLA) and the New York State Workers' Compensation Board (for NYPFL)

Eva Zelson
Eva Zelson

A: While FMLA is intended to provide job protections for those using it to take care of a newborn or other family member with a serious medical condition, it does not completely guarantee that you will have a job to return to. While you cannot be terminated because of your use of FMLA leave, you may still be laid off if company layoffs do occur during your FMLA leave. However, by law, your employer must prove that the layoff was not related to your FMLA leave. If the timing seems fishy to you, or the layoffs were not widespread, contact an experienced employment lawyer for a free consultation.

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