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I am currently on maternity leave and my company is in the process of hiring a replacement for me. However, a friend of mine applied and was asked to go for an interview. She turned down because in the end she didn't think a maternity replacement job was a good fit. She was told by HR that there is another fulltime position and asked if she would be interested.

My question is: how can I ask the HR person about this position? As I wouldn't want to miss an opportunity to apply for an internal job which they may not be posted (did happen in the past to someone else on maternity leave). Especially, since my friend was told it is an additional position to mine but in the same area. A lateral transfer to this position might appeal more to me now that I have kids.

I am worried that by asking I would seem like I am not happy with my job.

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What are you concerns with just asking? Why is that a problem? – Oded Jan 9 '13 at 11:14
I guess I am worried that by asking I would seem like I am not happy with my job. – user5672 Jan 9 '13 at 12:38

Start by talking about it as if you were sat at home and bored (eager to return to work, Sir), and you started thinking about something your friend had said about another role and you wondered exactly how it fit in with yours, where the division of labour would be.

If it sounds like a bad idea, ask more questions. If it sounds like a good idea but you're not interested then thank them and hang up. If it sounds like something you'd want more than your current role, say "Hey, have you considered that maybe my skillset fits better with this role than the one I'm doing?" and let the conversation flow naturally from there.

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I would recommend not asking about it until you are available for work again.

If you indicate to your employer that you want to move to another position the could take that as you no longer want the the position you are in, which could provide reason for them could hire a replacement for you. When you return from your leave they could give you a limited amount of time to find a new position that will accept you in the role or be laid off. It is an acceptable reason according to the FMLA that allows an employer to replace a worker who indicates they no longer want or will be able to perform the duties of their position. Since the "disability" is not work related the law allows for there replacement of you with out finding a new position for you. You may have cause if they do this, but it will be a legal battle and one that depending on the judge you may not win. It is best to avoid the potential situation to me.

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