Maria Alves’s employer fired her when she didn’t return from her maternity leave. Well, to be fair, they gave her one extension and fired her when she asked for a second extension.
That may seem reasonable–companies aren’t obligated to hold your job forever, and the US requires only 12 weeks of unpaid time off–if you qualify for FMLA. So, why did Boston University lose a lawsuit?
Because Alves not only had a new baby, she had postpartum depression (PPD). Most women (50-75 percent) suffer from the “baby blues” after giving birth, but 10 percent of new moms can experience a more severe postpartum depression. (One in a thousand experience postpartum psychosis, which is far more severe.)
The baby blues generally clears up on its own in a couple of weeks, but PPD can last for months or longer and should be treated by competent medical professionals. And like other mental health problems, PPD can be covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
To read more, click here: Women Fired for Not Returning from FMLA; Wins a Lawsuit for Unlawful Termination. Here’s Why