Early maternity leave leads to employee's termination. $41,400 bench verdict.Los Angeles County.


Clerk goes on early maternity leave when she has a premature birth, is later told not to return to work.

The Case

  • Case Name: Yvonne Rodriguez v. Xiaobo America, Ltd
  • Court and Case Number: Los Angeles Superior Court / BC535638
  • Date of Verdict or Judgment: Tuesday, January 10, 2017
  • Date Action was Filed: Friday, February 07, 2014
  • Type of Case: Employment, Wrongful Termination
  • Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Yvette Palazuelos
  • Type of Result: Bench Verdict

The Result

  • Gross Verdict or Award: $41,400
  • Net Verdict or Award: $106,600 (including attorneys' fees).
  • Post Trial Motions & Post-Verdict Settlements: Motion for attorneys' fees.

The Attorneys

  • Attorney for the Plaintiff:

    Mancini & Associates by Michael R. Fostakowsky, Sherman Oaks.

  • Attorney for the Defendant:

    Law Offices of Ray Hsu by Ray Hsu, Alhambra.

Facts and Background

  • Facts and Background:

    Plaintiff was hired in September 2011 as an office assistant with defendant Xiaobo America, Ltd. After three months, she received a good performance review and was given a raise. In May 2012, Plaintiff learned she was pregnant. Plaintiff immediately informed her supervisor, requested maternity leave, and represented that her due date was in February 2013. Plaintiff went on to have several more conversations with defendant about her pregnancy and need for maternity leave.

    On December 3, 2012, plaintiff went into labor, eight weeks before her due date. While in the hospital, plaintiff notified defendant she was in labor and would need to begin her maternity leave earlier than anticipated. Plaintiff's supervisor came to the hospital, confirmed with plaintiff she would return to work in three months, and that a temporary employee would cover plaintiff's work in her absence.

    On February 25, 2012, plaintiff emailed her supervisor and defendant's owner, confirming her maternity leave would end on March 3 and she would return to work on March 4. Defendant then informed plaintiff that she no longer had a job and accused her of quitting when she took her maternity leave.

  • Plaintiff's Contentions:

    That plaintiff was wrongfully terminated and retaliated against for her pregnancy and taking maternity leave.

  • Defendant's Contentions:

    That plaintiff was a sub-standard employee who quit prior to taking maternity leave.

Additional Notes

At a settlement conference with the Court (Judge Winikow) mid-way through the litigation (8/26/2015),  plaintiff initially demanded $245,000, while defendant refused to make an offer. Eventually the judge proposed a bracket of $50-100K; plaintiff agreed, defendant refused.