Can I be asked to relocate before coming back from maternity leave under FMLA?

I am due back at work in 2 weeks after taking leave, all paperwork was filed, in August for the birth of my child. My employer called me stating that my position was moved out of state, they state no position is available in my area. They have not made me a written offer to move yet.

My question is, am I covered under FMLA to be offered a position where I am currently located, or are they complying with the law by "offering" me my position out of state, knowing fully well that a person cant move in a month while relocating a family of 4 including a newborn?

1 answer  |  asked Oct 25, 2016 05:30 AM [EST]  |  applies to Florida

Answers (1)

Phyllis Towzey
The issue is whether your job location would have been moved out of state anyway. If this was already the plan, then the company does not have to alter those plans just because you were on FMLA leave - the FMLA does not entitled you to better treatment that you would otherwise have received if you had not been out on leave.

If, however, the company chose your position as the one to transfer out of state specifically BECAUSE you were on FMLA leave and they wanted to replace you, then that is a violation of the law.

If your position changed or was eliminated, they do not have to offer you an equivalent position - that obligation only arises if they replace you while you are out on leave.

However, if there are comparable open positions available, you would have a good argument that the employer is obligated to offer one of those positions to you.

I'm sorry you find yourself in this position.

posted by Phyllis Towzey  |  Oct 25, 2016 06:12 AM [EST]

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