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Woman fired on maternity leave will receive more than $100k from ex-employer

Woman fired on maternity leave will receive more than $100k from ex-employer

She came back from her parental leave to find she no longer had a job

A woman who was fired while on maternity leave has been awarded a payout of more than $100,000 from her ex-employer.

Ivy Ennals, from Port Norris in New Jersey, gave birth to a baby girl via emergency cesarean section just days before she turned 40.

Under New Jersey laws, Ennals was entitled to 12 weeks under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act, as well as an additional six weeks under New Jersey’s family leave law.

But when the time came for her to return to work as a retail store manager, Ennals was told she was no longer required.

Ennals told the Washington Post, she was informed that her job had been terminated the month before - leaving her unemployed with a newborn and two older children to look after.

A new mom had her contract terminated while she was on parental leave.
Pexels/Lisa Fotios

She told the publication: “I was already stressed by having that emergency surgery with her, healing time was already a little prolonged, and bills were getting a little behind.

“It just puts you in a whole bind.”

So she decided to get in touch with a lawyer and filed a complaint with the New Jersey attorney general’s office’s civil rights division in 2019.

Fast-forward almost four years and her ex-employer has now agreed to pay Ennals $66,000 in compensation, as well as $44,000 in attorney’s fees and $3,500 to the state - bringing the total up to $113,500.

In a statement New Jersey Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin said: “The New Jersey Family Leave Act protects a parent’s right to take time away from work to bond with their child without fear of losing their job.

“New Jersey employers should know that we will not tolerate violations of that important law.”

The new mom’s ex-employer was ordered to pay $113,000.
Pexels/William Fortunato

Ennals said losing her job like that had large financial impacts for the family.

It took her several months to find a new job and when she was able to find work, she was earning less than she had been, meaning her husband had to work overtime.

Ennals continued to job-hunt until she found something she was ‘comfortable' with.

The 43-year-old said: “You don’t want it to ever happen again to anybody else when you go through something like this.”

Sundeep Iyer, Director of the Division on Civil Rights added: “Our laws provide strong protections for employees who seek to take leave to bond with their children or to take care of sick loved ones.

“The consent decrees we are announcing today reflect our ongoing commitment to protecting the rights of our residents under the New Jersey Family Leave Act.”

Featured Image Credit: José Carlos Díaz Hidalgo / Wavebreak Media ltd / Alamy

Topics: US News, Money