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I was Fired Shortly After Telling My Boss I was Pregnant. What Should I Do?

Employment Discrimination Lawyers Assisting New York City Employees

Pregnancy discrimination is a type of unlawful sex discrimination. It happens if an employer treats a job applicant or employee differently because of her pregnancy, childbirth, or similar conditions. If you were fired shortly after telling your boss about your pregnancy, you may have grounds to bring a pregnancy discrimination claim under federal, state, or local laws. The New York City pregnancy discrimination lawyers at Phillips & Associates can help you explore all of your legal options.

I was fired shortly after telling my boss I was pregnant. What should I do?

Your employer is not supposed to treat you differently because you are pregnant. Pregnancy discrimination can occur at any stage during the employment relationship. It is unlawful for a prospective employer not to hire you because you say that you are pregnant, and it is also unlawful for your employer to terminate you because you are pregnant.

Under federal law, your employer cannot treat you differently from other employees. Your employer cannot terminate you because you asked for a reasonable accommodation for your pregnancy if it gives accommodations to other employees with temporary disabilities. For example, if your boss let your coworker take longer rest breaks when she was recovering from a spine surgery, your boss should allow you to also take longer rest breaks as an accommodation for a pregnancy-related medical condition. Your boss should not terminate you because you tell him that you are pregnant.

You are also protected against pregnancy discrimination under the New York State Human Rights Law and the New York City Human Rights Law. If you were fired shortly after telling your boss that you were pregnant, you may have a basis to sue under those laws with the assistance of a pregnancy discrimination lawyer.

Proving Pregnancy Discrimination

You will need to show that you were fired because of your pregnancy to bring a lawsuit under federal, state, or local laws. In some cases, an employer does admit to firing an employee because of their pregnancy. This is direct evidence of discriminatory intent, and it is easier to establish your case if your boss says something or puts something in writing to show that your termination was causally related to your pregnancy. For example, if your boss says, “If you’re pregnant, you can’t do this job, so I’m afraid we’ll have to let you go,” it should be straightforward to show pregnancy discrimination.

However, more often, an employer does not admit the reason for a termination but finds a pretextual reason for it. Some employers know that there are protections for pregnant employees and will invent another reason for the termination.

If the facts of your case make it more likely than not that discrimination was behind your employer’s actions, your attorney may be able to establish discrimination through circumstantial evidence. One such factor could be that the termination occurred soon after you notified your boss about your pregnancy. However, other factors could include the employer deviating from its usual policies and practices, acting differently than it would if it were using business sense, or otherwise altering its behavior. For example, if you are working on a big project that others cannot take over, and the deadline is several months away, and you let your boss know that you are pregnant but that it should not affect your ability to finish the project, and then you are terminated, this decision may not make business sense or comport with the employer’s usual practices. In that case, it would be easier to establish a causal connection between the notification and your termination.

Similarly, if you were given reasons for your termination that do not make sense, and the timing is also suspicious, these factors taken together may form strong circumstantial evidence of discriminatory intent. For example, if you were told that you were being terminated because the company is looking for somebody with stronger programming skills, your replacement should have stronger programming skills than you have.

Consult an Experienced Pregnancy Discrimination Lawyer in New York City

If you were fired shortly after telling your boss that you were pregnant, you should discuss the matter with the skillful attorneys at Phillips & Associates. Call us at (212) 248-7431 or contact us through our online form. We handle employment litigation throughout the New York City region, as well as on Long Island and in Westchester County, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.

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