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Hi.I live in New York State. I was a former employee at a restaurant until today on 6/14/15. I am writing today because unaware of my rights and who to contact about my grievance. I recently came back from maternity leave on May 1st with full availability assuming i have my old shift back. I am a waitress. I was told by my employer that instead she has only 2 days for me when before I was working 4 days. Desperate for money I said yes anything, hoping that it will gradually change once i came back. I just figure I show them how good of a worker I still am and that I still can complete my tasks just like before I went on leave, that I'd eventually get more hours. Money was getting tight and struggling to pay bills,my boyfriend started working far from home so our kids and i were unable to see him for he works 6 days a week and unable to come home. I informed my employer that Im giving her a 3 week notice that I can not work the weekends anymore, so we can go down and see him. It is now the 3 rd week  and I look on the calendar and she has me working Fathers day of the following week. I informed her i can not work it. She then tells me to finish my shift that I am done. I continue to act professional and courteous to my customers because i will want a good reference for my next job I go to. After i wait on two tables, she tells me to just leave now. I am hearing from a coworker she is telling them I quit which is not the case. I am writing to you to see if there is anything I can do if my rights were violated, if there is anything in place for a waitress to still be able to get her same amount of hours back coming from maternity leave.If at the least able to file unemployment? Thank you for your time.


Hi- thanks for your question.  Sorry for my delay- been away this weekend and Monday.

You have a few different issues going on here.   My opinions are to the point with an example or two tossed in.  I hope you find it direct and to the point.

Your grievance here really is NOT about getting your job back after a pregnancy because you did get your job back and accepted the available work.   You DID come back to work and the employer gave you work.  IF they only had 2 days a week, this is what the employer had for you.  Not sure if your employer is a FMLA qualified employer 50 or more employees or if they were just following state of NY practices which is not to discriminiate.  If FMLA, this might slightly change things, but not much.  Bottom line,  you were working so it is not an issue of grievances for not getting job back after pregnancy.

However you did formally ask  not to be available on weekends after 3 weeks..    Seems to me this is a busy time of the week for restaurants.  So your manager must have agreed to give you weekends off.  Then you changed the game when instead of 3 weeks,  you want to go on a trip for Father's Day.   I understand the emotional desire to be with your boyfriend and the baby on Father's Day.   Some people take holidays like this to be celebrated.  (  I personally dont care even though I'm a father 365 days a year...  Just my thoughts though....),  but the employer isn't so excited to see you ask off for the weekend to go celebrate Father's Day .   Maybe that boss would LOVE to take the day off too to see their Father or celebrate with their Husband, whatever,  but they cant because they have a restaurant to manage.  So, the manager is more concerned with filling the schedule for the weekend now that you want to go on a trip on the day you originally said you would be there to help.  Sounds like you are backing out of your deal.

I understand what you wrote to mean that you would be available weekends for 3 more weeks, then no more and the 3rd week is next weekend - Father's Day.   So, really you only want to give 2 weeks.     Yor rights were not violated as far as I can tell.     The employer can mandate employees to work or not work  based on company and customer needs.  So, for example, you can have a vacation day planned and the company can call you because three employees quit and they need you to come in.  This is being mandated to work and if you say "no",  you might also get fired too-  or maybe the manager would just say, OK and do nothing else.  Its up to the employer how they want to handle it.

A few things I an thinking of here:
1-  you did not plan too well and maybe should have looked closer at the calendar before telling the employer when you would agree to work.  You see how this caused a lot of issues
2-  from what you tell me,  I feel you did not quit. I thin you were fired or laid off/ taken off the schedule,  all the same.... either way it is the same for UC reasons.    You should try to open a claim for unemployment because you would still be eligible as far as I can tell-- even though you did not have your dates in order.

As far as rights for coming back to work,  that is not an issue here.

I hope this helps  If anything else, just reply.

Brian Phillips

Human Resources

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Brian Phillips


Foreign and US university students -*PLEASE*- DO NOT waste your time asking for my opinions, comments or analysis of your homework questions. Homework questions are not answered and are rejected. I am happy to help answer questions asked by employees and employers regarding United States based state and Federal wage and hour, OT, Fair labor standards, FMLA, COBRA, Recruiting, Interviewing techniques, employee manuals, discipline, terminations/quits, unemployment, HRIS rollout, Employee Leasing or Staffing company cost analysis, day to day scenarios, work situations and more. Essentially a well rounded HR generalist who operates Harvis, Inc., a human resource consulting and service business based in Northeastern Pennsylvania "NEPA".


At Harvis, Inc., we provide Human Resource products, services and advice to small businesses that may not have the time or resources to hire a full time HR department. For larger companies with HR managers in place, we compliment their expertise to help with time consuming or time sensitive projects like updating policy manuals, screening and interviewing and more. We make workplaces better by becoming that 1/2 person they need to help handle HR responsibilities on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. Formerly responsible for all Human Resource activity for a staffing agency with 2,500 annual employees as well as an employee leasing / PEO business with 1,500 annual employees. Designed and implemented the HR structure to support hundreds of clients in excess of $ 500 million in payroll volume over career in Human Resources.

* President 2006- Harvis Inc. HR Services * President 2010-13 Business Association of the Greater Shickshinny Area - Shickshinny PA * President 2013- ShickshinnyForward Not for Profit Community Long Term Revitalization Organization and former member of varios Chambers of Commerce and HR Taskforce, former President of NBC Business Club 2 years

Bloomsburg University - 1993 BS Marketing, Bloomsburg Pennsylvania and Luzerne County Community College - 1991 Business Administration, Nanticoke Pennsylvania

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* Better than average - 20/10 vision * Bestowed with an occasional "Thank You" from clients and their employees.

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