Have you been fired because you are pregnant? Some laws protect employees from such actions, and employment discrimination lawyers help women just like you every day. Knowing the facts is critical to pursuing justice. Not every employee in the United States is covered — but many are. If you have been fired for being pregnant, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit with an experienced pregnancy discrimination lawyer.
Why You Should Hire a Pregnancy Discrimination Lawyer
You Are Arbitrarily Fired For Being Pregnant
The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) gives legal rights to pregnant workers under federal law. If your employer has 15 or more employees, you are protected against pregnancy-based discrimination and harassment. The law protects all of these situations: if you are pregnant, have been pregnant, or may become pregnant. If you have been fired for being pregnant, contact a discrimination lawyer and see if your situation will support a claim of discrimination to be filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
All employers are not obvious about their discrimination. In fact, discrimination is often very subtle. There are many ways they may discriminate against short of a wrongful termination.
Your Employer Does Not Grant You 12 Weeks of Unpaid Leave
Your protections under the law are not limited to protections against unlawful termination. For example, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) requires companies with more than 50 employees to grant eligible employees 12 weeks of unpaid medical leave per year. This leave can be used as maternity leave, as well as for certain other medical conditions.
If you have worked for your employer for at least 12 months, and for at least 1250 hours during those 12 months, and your employer has more than 50 employees, and it doesn’t grant you 12 weeks of unpaid leave, consult an employment discrimination attorney immediately.
You Get Unequal Treatment in Using Accrued Leave
All employees should be treated equally in terms of benefits of employment. Do you know your workplace policy on using accrued leave while taking time off during pregnancy or after the birth of your child? If your employer is not requiring others to use accrued leave and is requiring you to do so, you may have a valid claim of discrimination under the PDA, and you should consider consulting an expert in employment and labor law.
Unequal Treatment in Firing Policies for Too Much Missed Work
Did you get fired for missing too much work during your pregnancy? If so, it may be an unlawful termination. It depends on whether your employer is subject to laws like the FMLA and PDA. You may also have additional protections under laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of a disability if you suffer from medical conditions during your pregnancy which also qualifies as disabilities. As mentioned in the example above, a policy of termination after a certain number of missed days of work should be applied equally to everyone — whether due to pregnancy or some other reason.
You Were Not Offered Accommodations and Were Fired Because You Were Unable to Perform Your Job
The Pregnancy Discrimination Act provides that you may have been eligible for accommodations “from the employer that will allow you to do your regular job safely.” These can include:
Altered break and work schedules (such as breaks to use the restroom)
Permission to sit or stand
Elimination of marginal job functions (like heavy lifting)
A consideration of options for accommodation is required under the PDA and/or the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act). There are limits to the accommodations an employer must make, for example, the ADA doesn’t require your employer to make changes that involve significant hardship or expense. Also, if more than one accommodation would work, the employer can choose which one to give you. With these complex issues and requirements, it is best to consult a legal professional to assist you with your particular circumstance.
Take Action. Fight for Your Rights.
Employment discrimination and wrongful termination due to pregnancy is wrong. Know you are not alone and compassionate and determined employment discrimination lawyers are here to help.
If you have been discriminated against at your current job or fired for being pregnant, contact Wenzel Fenton Cabassa, P.A. today. We provide a free, confidential consultation to discuss the details of your situation to see if you have a pregnancy discrimination case. There are statutes of limitations on filing pregnancy discrimination claims, so don’t delay in taking action to fight for your rights.
We help employees who have been wronged by employers make great decisions about their legal issues. Contact us today.