Maternity Leave Policy

Can a female employee on maternity leave be dismissed due to her poor work performance?  What are the legal consequences for dismissal?
 Director of HR, Financial Services

Panel-Pregnant-WomanWhile this is a slippery slope and one that requires the professional guidance of an experienced attorney, in short the answer is yes. The basic rule of thumb is that if someone was otherwise eligible to be let go due to staff reductions they cannot be “protected” from a layoff simply because they are out on maternity leave. If you cannot do so then you run the risk of complaints and law suits via the EEOC, CHRO and even the local attorney. Lastly, even with the protection you are afforded under the law for a supported decision to proceed here beware of the backlash from such a move that may come from your employees and even members of your community. 

David Lewis — AKA Mister HR