Although a lot of businesses and managers are ready to accommodate pregnant women and understand that they are equal to their peers, there are some that will actively discriminate against them. Some are reluctant to hire an employee that they feel may get pregnant soon while others will want to fire one already working for them as retaliation.
This is not only wrong ethically but it is also illegal. The thing is that you have rights as a pregnant woman and you need to know what they are so you can make sure that you are protected. However, if you are ever in a situation like this, you should always consult with an employment attorney like the Kingsley & Kingsley lawyers. This can significantly improve your chances of obtaining the compensation you deserve. In this article, we will go over some of those rights so you can recognize if you are facing discriminatory behavior from a boss or company.
Can Your Employer Fire You?
Many states in the country are considered “at-will” which means that you can be fired for any reason. That is unless you fall under a protected class status. There are certain members of society that are protected and can’t be fired for no reason. This means that if a manager wants to fire somebody with those protections, they need to be ready to justify it and back it up with hard evidence. For most other people, they can simply say the employee doesn’t fit in with the company culture and it can’t really be questioned.
The short answer, then, is that you can’t be fired for being pregnant. If your boss had some other reason to fire you that is not related to being pregnant then they will need to show a lot of proof for it.
This means that if you are fired then a wrongful termination attorney can help. Talk to a lawyer and give them all the documentation that you have as you probably have a good case to sue for your job back or to receive damages.
You Can Be Accommodated
You will likely have some special needs to be able to continue to work effectively when you are pregnant. Many of these needs are not going to be very dramatic and will have no impact on the company’s ability to operate normally. In fact, the company is required to accommodate those needs as long as they are reasonable.
For instance, if you need to stop lifting heavy items then they will need somebody else to do that unless this is an integral part of your job. You can also request more frequent breaks or some specialized furniture for comfort while working and those accommodations will need to be granted.
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a law that allows people to take up to 12 weeks off from work that is unpaid to care for themselves or a family member. This includes the time you need to stay home after you give birth. Your job is safe during that period and you cannot be fired.
That time can also be used during the pregnancy so if you have complications toward the end of your pregnancy then you will have that time where your job is protected if you need to stay home.