How do I let people know I got screwed without saying I got screwed?
October 8, 2009 10:11 AM Subscribe
Short version: I was fired for taking parental leave. I am now looking for new work. What do I tell potential future employers about the reason I left my previous job?
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (27 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I work(ed) in the print industry, in Canada. When my son was born late in 2008, I took 37 weeks of parental leave. My wife was unable to take a leave herself because she is self-employed. This had all been arranged with my employer, who made no indication that there was any issue with my taking a parental leave. It should be noted that in Canada an employer cannot fire an employee for taking a parental leave, nor can they eliminate the person's position or really do anything to penalize a person for taking leave to care for their newborn children.
I returned to work in the summer and was fired within 2 months for very vague, undefined reasons. Though it has not been stated as such, it is pretty clear that the dismissal was a reprisal for having taken leave in the first place. I've consulted with a lawyer and I'm clear on my rights and what action I can take against them (and I WILL be taking action against them). My previous employer provided me with a glowing letter of reference (completely in contradiction of his actions towards me) and has stated that any telephone references would be positive.
That still leaves me with a difficult issue. How do I bring this up to potential employers? I think it would be inappropriate to just say "I was fired for taking parental leave," since that has yet to be proven and even if it was proven it might make me look like a litigious pain. So, is there a way around the truth, that still isn't a lie? Some amorphous, touchy-feely, buzzwordy thing I can say to deflect attention from this hornet's nest of stupidity?