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Can my employer make me go back to work two weeks after the baby is born?

My sister is having a baby, she works for a doctor in a private practice clinic and he only wants to give her two weeks maternity leave even though her OB told her not to go back to work until at least 4 weeks. I was wondering if there was any law protecting her maternity leave because she is really stressing right now.


Asked by Anonymous at 4:26 PM on Jan. 7, 2009 in Pregnancy

This question is closed and filed in the CafeMom Encyclopedia.
Answers (4)
  • Absolutely and it's called the FMLA. The Family Medical Leave Act allots for up to 12 weeks of maternity leave and as long as her doctor signs off on leave papers she is 100% covered. Also, considering he is a doctor, I cannot understand how he could even fathom a woman being able to return to work after only 2 weeks. Many employers will not allow you to return in less than 4 to 6 weeks unless you are cleared to do so by your ob/gyn. Something does not add up. She can file suit using the Equal Opportunity Employment Act. Just make sure she keeps all of her documentation. She is protected.

    Answer by micrespo at 4:42 PM on Jan. 7, 2009

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  • He can not make her go back to work after 2 weeks. He can not fire her for taking the time allotted to her by law. He can get in trouble if he doesn't watch it.

    Answer by Madge1428 at 5:06 PM on Jan. 7, 2009

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  • FMLA does not cover companies with fewer than 50 employees. She should talk to her OB and get written instructions and take it to her boss.

    Answer by sammygrl77 at 5:45 PM on Jan. 7, 2009

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  • Is he only allowing her to take off for 2 weeks or is he only paying her for 2 weeks? Many companies do not even off paid maternity leave at all. As for the Family Medical Leave Act, it only applies to companies with more than 50 employees. She needs to clarify about the 2 weeks, I just can't imagine a doctor telling her that she needs to return to work after 2 weeks. I would bet that he's PAYING her for 2 weeks and what she takes off beyond that is un-paid.

    Answer by slw123 at 8:06 PM on Jan. 7, 2009

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