Releasing an Employee on Maternity Leave

If a small employer (15 employees) has an employee with marginal performance (never documented)who goes on maternity leave and has a temp in the office who is an exceptional worker, can the employer terminated the marginal performer while they are on maternity leave andhire the temp as a permanent employee?

1 answer  |  asked Mar 10, 2003 09:04 AM [EST]  |  applies to Ohio

Answers (1)

Neil Klingshirn
Do not terminate an Ohio employee while on maternity leave.

Ohio has a specific law requiring six weeks of maternity leave. It applies to employers with fewer than 15 employees. If you terminate your full time employee as described, you will almost certainly face a claim. Without documentation to back up your performance concerns, the employee has a good chance of prevailing on that claim. Bottom line -- do not terminate this employee while she is on maternity leave.

As with any employment matter, you need to share your performance concerns with the employee as they arise. You should follow this up with formal evaluations. This tells the employee where she stands and allows you to make changes to your workforce when the performance of the employee merits it.

Our firm provides employee manuals, guidance with performance issues and legal advice regarding terminations. If you want to put a solid employment relations program in place, suitable to your size, call me at 330.665.5445.

Best regards,

Neil Klingshirn

posted by Neil Klingshirn  |  Mar 10, 2003 09:36 AM [EST]

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