Demoted upon return from FMLA

Went to Rehab and returned to work. When I returned I was demoted to a differant level and total pay. I don't believe this can happen since I was on FMLA.

1 answer  |  asked Oct 4, 2014 7:52 PM [EST]  |  applies to California

Answers (1)

Marilynn Mika Spencer
If you take advantage of or request leave under the FMLA, your employer is prohibited from discriminating against you. It cannot take adverse action against you BECAUSE you needed FMLA-qualifying leave. Your employer cannot demote you – at least not lawfully. Your employer must return you to the same job or a substantially similar job in terms of pay, duties, hours, advancement opportunities, skill level, benefits etc.

Your employer can only demote you following your return from leave if the employer would have taken the same action if you had not gone on FMLA. In other words, going on FMLA shouldn't affect what the employer does one way or the other.

Also, your employer cannot demand that you provide information that employees who take any other kind of medical leave do not have to provide. And your employer cannot limit you in terms of job advancement, training, pay, work product, etc.

Please look at my guide on the FMLA for a better understanding of these rights: http:// or

If you believe your family leave rights have been violated, consult with an attorney. To find a plaintiffs employment attorney in California, please go to the web site of the California Employment Lawyers Association (CELA). CELA is the largest and most influential bar association in the state for attorneys who represent working people. The web site is Click on "Find a CELA Member" and you can search by location and practice area. Many CELA attorneys represent clients throughout the state.

I hope there is a good resolution to this situation.

posted by Marilynn Mika Spencer  |  Oct 4, 2014 11:12 PM [EST]

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