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Woman says firing was retaliation for requesting maternity leave

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a federal law that requires employers to give employees unpaid leave for medical and family reasons that are covered in the act while also keeping the job open so the employee can return to work later on. Sadly, not every Texas employer is willing to keep a job open for an extended period of time. In some cases, employees could be fired in retaliation for even requesting FMLA leave, which could give rise to a wrongful termination claim.

An woman who is not from Texas filed a lawsuit on June 24 alleging that she was wrongfully terminated in March. On Feb. 24, she requested FMLA leave in advance of the birth of her child, which was not scheduled to occur until July. On March 19, her employer told her that her employment would be terminated in two weeks.

She claims that the firing was in retaliation for her pregnancy and her request for FMLA leave. On the other hand, the company claims that she was laid off due to budgetary issues and other challenges facing the business. In addition to the allegations of wrongful termination, she also claims that she is due overtime pay. The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California will be responsible for determining whether she was wrongfully terminated.

Most Texas employers are willing to do right by their employees. However, those companies that believe they do not have to adhere to state and federal employment laws need to be held accountable for their actions. Employees who believe that they were fired in retaliation for requesting FMLA leave may be able to seek monetary and/or non-monetary damages as appropriate.

Source:, "Woman alleges wrongful termination by Cisco Systems, Elite Office Staff", Wadi Reformado, June 27, 2016

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