I Got Fired for Being Pregnant. What Should I Do?

Pregnancy should be a special time in a person’s life, but some unscrupulous employers may use pregnancy as an excuse to discriminate against or wrongfully terminate an employee. This practice is illegal under federal and New York law. The New York pregnancy discrimination attorneys at Phillips & Associates understand the protections the law gives pregnant employees. If you have been fired or denied some employment benefit because you are pregnant, contact us today.

You Cannot Be Fired for Being Pregnant

Federal law mandates that pregnant employees be treated exactly the same as any other temporarily disabled employee. This includes prohibiting discrimination against an employee because of her pregnancy. Pregnancy discrimination may take many forms, including:

  • Refusing to hire;
  • Decreasing salary or denying a raise;
  • Firing;
  • Denying promotions; or
  • Withholding other benefits.

Pregnant employees must be given the same benefits and protections as other employees. These benefits extend beyond the time an employee is pregnant. In other words, even if you are no longer pregnant you may still be able to make a claim if your rights were violated. However, because the amount of time you have to file a claim after you give birth is short, contact an attorney right away if you believe you have been treated in a discriminatory manner.

The law also requires that employers give pregnant employees the same leave opportunities as other employees with a medical condition. Similarly, an employer cannot force a pregnant employee to leave their job at a specific point during pregnancy. A pregnant employee must be given the same opportunity to do their job as any other employee.

Understand the Laws that Protect You

The major federal law that protects pregnant employees from discrimination is the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, which was attached as an amendment to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This law applies to employers with 15 or more employees. Victims of unlawful pregnancy discrimination can bring suit using the Pregnancy Discrimination Act to protect their rights and recover damages against their employers. In addition, New York law protects employees who work for employers with fewer employees. If you are unsure whether you are protected by pregnancy discrimination laws, schedule a consultation with an experienced pregnancy discrimination attorney.

Keep a Record of All Communication

If you have been fired or laid off because you are pregnant, because you requested parental leave, or because you needed to attend appointments with a doctor, you may have a claim under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. Be sure to document any communications between you and your employer, even if your employer has not directly admitted that your firing was because of your pregnancy. Any excuse given by your employer for your termination could be valuable evidence in a subsequent lawsuit.

Contact an Experienced Attorney

Employees who are fired for being pregnant have been subjected to illegal discrimination. The New York pregnancy discrimination lawyers at Phillips & Associates can help victims of employer discrimination stand up for themselves and protect their rights. If your employer fired you because you are pregnant, we can help you assess your case and recommend next steps. Call (212) 248-7431 or email us to schedule a free and confidential consultation to discuss your case.