Fired because of a pregnancy leave of absence?
If you were disciplined, demoted, lost a bonus or were paid less than other employees you may have been illegally discriminated against for being pregnant.
Share what happened with our award-winning pregnancy discrimination lawyers to get your legal options from one of the nation's leading employment law firms:
- Get a free, no obligation, review of your case details
- Have your legal options laid out simply & clearly for you
- Ensure you are treated with the dignity and respect you deserve
Your job shouldn't be jeopardized by childbirth, and federal laws exist to protect female workers from being treated differently for being pregnant and other such employer abuses.
While pregnancy discrimination at work has been against the law in the United States for more than 35 years, women still lose their jobs, are denied promotions, or are not hired simply because they are pregnant.
It's illegal, but it still happens all too frequently. When it does, know you have rights, and the employment lawyers are standing-by to hold those who do accountable.
The Pregnancy Discrimination Act, passed in 1978, defined treating any employee or job applicant unfavorably because they are pregnant or because of childbirth-related conditions as discrimination against women. This meant that it was now a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act to treat pregnant women any differently than any other worker.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act states that it is illegal to discriminate against an employee based on their sex, or a number of other factors including race, religion and national origin. While the PDA broadened the protections against sexual discrimination to include pregnancy, the protections and rules of coverage are still determined by Title VII.
If you are unsure whether you are protected, pregnancy discrimination attorneys will be able to answer your questions and help you navigate what protections the law provides. Under Title VII, the protections in the Civil Rights Act apply broadly to any employer who with more than 15 employees. This includes businesses, nonprofit organizations and even federal, state and local government. It also applies to training programs and employment agencies who help place workers for temporary or permanent assignment.
Female employees who become pregnant cannot be fired or laid off due to their pregnancy or for related medical conditions - that's the law. In fact, you must be permitted to continue working as long as you remain able to perform the duties required in your job description. Female employees are also allowed to return to work as soon as they desire after childbirth, as long as you can perform the duties of your job.
In short, an employer must use the same procedure to determine if a pregnant woman is able to perform her job as they would for any other employee who has been sick or injured. In many cases, this requires a doctor's clearance, or a signed form from your physician. Each company should have a policy in writing that outlines what is necessary to receive sick leave.
Once the employee does take leave, the employer must hold her job for the same duration they would for any other sick or injured worker. This often comes into play when your position is filled or eliminated while you are on a medical leave-of-absence for childbirth. In many cases, this can be proven to be discrimination, and you may be eligible to recover lost wages from your former employer.
As previously mentioned, savvy employers often try to mask their discriminatory practices, which can make proving pregnancy discrimination cases difficult. Gathering sufficient evidence to substantiate the claim is often the most challenging. Be sure to document everything. The best discrimination attorneys can usually ferret out the truth when illegal activity has occurred.
Another place employers commonly discriminate against pregnant employees is when she is unable to perform some of her job duties because of the pregnancy. In this case, the employer is legally required to treat her in the same manner as they would any other employee who has a temporary disability.
While some employers do force those who are temporarily disabled to take leave without pay or disability leave, many others allows employees to be temporarily assigned to complete administrative tasks or other alternative assignments within their physical capabilities. Whether this is done by habit or policy, the same treatment must be extended to those who cannot perform their duties temporarily due to pregnancy.
It is important to note that some impairments common during pregnancy are considered disabilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Thanks to amendments passed to this act in 2008, it is now much easier to prove that your medical condition is covered by this act, and to ensure you receive the legal protections it offers. This often includes an employer making reasonable efforts to help a pregnant employee overcome obstacles that are preventing her from doing her job.
What About Hiring When I'm Pregnant?
If a pregnant woman can perform the major functions of the job at the time of application, she must be treated equally in consideration and hiring for the position. While it is more difficult to prove than job loss, women have been successful in lawsuits against employers who did not hire them simply because they were pregnant, had recently given birth, or had a pregnancy-related medical condition.Review My Case Now
Not every discrimination claim ends in a lawsuit. Most cases result in a settlement offer in compensation for your company's unlawful actions. Pregnancy discrimination settlements can be a path to a relatively rapid recovery and swift justice without the need to go to court. Your employment attorney will negotiate on your behalf in order to reach a fair and equitable settlement that compensates you for lost wages, and other damages.
If your former employer chooses to fight, however, a discrimination lawsuit may be called for in order to seek fair recovery over the injustice you suffered. If your case goes to trial, having a highly-rated litigator on your side who is unafraid and experienced in court can make all the difference.
Most commonly, you may qualify to collect relief from your former employer after job loss in the form of back pay. This includes compensation for missed wages, including both regular pay and benefits. In some cases injunctive relief is commonly sought, which may include reinstating your old job - when desired.
Understandably, it may present an awkward situation returning to work after suing your former boss, in such cases your lawyer will be able to discuss alternative options with you.
In many cases, the employer will be required to pay the legal fees of the former employee, including attorney's fees. Getting fired can be humiliating, leave you frustrated and angry. A successful pregnancy discrimination lawsuit can result in more than just the recovery of lost wages. Compensatory damages to pay for emotional distress are sometimes awarded, although most cases have a claim cap on this amount based on the size of the business. Rarely, punitive damages may also be granted. This occurs when the employer discriminated intentionally and with malice.Review My Case Now
If you believe that you have been wrongfully terminated or discriminated against for being pregnant by your employer, you should share what happened right away. An attorney well-versed in employment law and discrimination suits can help you determine the merits of your case, will lay out for you your legal options in simple terms, as well as guide you through the process of pre-filing a claim with the EEOC and representing you in court if it comes to that.
Contact one of our experienced discrimination attorneys with your questions today to learn what legal rights you have, whether what you experienced was illegal or just unfair and what can be done about it. All case evaluations are provided free, and if you choose to proceed there are no out-of-pocket costs.
Sharing what happened does not obligate you in any way, you are in full control of what next step you wish to take. It costs you nothing, you need only share the details of what was done to you, and get the answers and legal options you seek. If your case doesn't win, you don't pay.
As a pregnant woman in the workplace you deserved to be treated with dignity and respect, period.
If you were discriminated against, not only is it reprehensible, it is illegal and pregnancy discrimination laws were put in place to protect you. When employers violate those rules, our employment lawyers are standing-by to hold them accountable.
Share what happened with our award-winning pregnancy discrimination lawyer today to help make things right for you.