Best Gender Discrimination Attorney Answer: Can I take paternity leave? How much time can I take off for the birth of my child? Can I be fired because I am pregnant? How do I find the best pregnancy discrimination lawyer in Ohio?
A little over a year ago, Yahoo’s CEO, Marissa Meyer made headlines when she announced that the company would be changing the policy on parental leave. Yahoo’s newer policy provided for eight weeks of paid leave for a new parent, and up to eight additional weeks of paid leave for the mother. Compared to the vast majority of employers in America, Yahoo’s policy seems pretty generous. Yet Yahoo joined several other Silicon Valley cohorts, like Google and Facebook that provide similar or even more generous packages. For instance, Facebook offers both parents four months of paid leave and an additional payout of $4,000.00 for incidentals otherwise known as, “baby cash.” While it is possible that these companies are exemplifying a new trend in employee benefits, it seems far-fetched that such a radical change could happen anytime soon.
However, as a recent Whitehouse summit on working families pointed out, America is the only country with an advanced economy that does not have legal protections providing for paid maternity leave. Although the topic of paid maternity leave is popular with most American workers, until sweeping legislative reform changes the way that employers coordinate leave for new parents it is important for anyone planning to have children to be aware of the protections and options that are currently in place.
If you are not lucky enough to work for an employer like Facebook, federal and state laws prohibit discrimination based on pregnancy. As we have blogged about before, Ohio Revised Code § 4112.02(A) makes it an unlawful discriminatory practice for any employer, because of the sex of any person, to “discharge without just cause, to refuse to hire, or otherwise to discriminate against that person with respect to hire, tenure, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, or any matter directly or indirectly related to employment.” Furthermore, the legislation spells out that the term “because of sex” in Ohio Revised Code § 4112.02(A) includes “because of or on the basis of pregnancy, any illness arising out of and occurring during the course of a pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions.” Ohio Revised Code § 4112.01(B) also states: “Women affected by pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions shall be treated the same for all employment-related purposes, including receipt of benefits under fringe benefit programs, as other persons not so affected but similar in their ability or inability to work.” Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 similarly prohibits pregnancy discrimination in employment-related matters.
Another option is taking twelve weeks of unpaid leave Family Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”). The FMLA is a federal law that allows certain employees to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave from their jobs during a 12 month period. To be eligible, the employee must have worked for the employer for at least the 12 months that preceded the leave, and, the employee must have worked at least 1250 hours during that time. Also, the employer must employ at least 50 people within a 75 mile radius.
So what about new dads? Under the FMLA, fathers are also entitled to up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave during a 12-month period to care for and bond with his new baby. But, if both mom and dad work for the same company, they are jointly entitled to only 12 weeks total leave to be shared and split any way the new parents want.
If you are facing discrimination or harassment simply because you are pregnant, protect your legal rights — call the right attorney. Under federal and Ohio employment laws, employers cannot harass, fire, wrongfully terminate, discriminate against, demote, or wrongfully discipline a female employee just because she got pregnant. When you call the right attorney to schedule a free and confidential initial consultation at (216) 291-4744, you will meet with an attorney from The Spitz Law Firm to discuss wrongful discrimination claims and help you determine the best way to pursue your gender/sex discrimination claims. Our pregnancy discrimination lawyers know your rights and will fight to protect them.
The materials available at the top of this page and on this employment law website are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. If you are still asking “What should I do …”, “I’m being discriminated against …”, or “How do I …”, your best option is to contact an Ohio attorney to obtain advice with respect to pregnancy discrimination questions or any particular employment law issue. Use and access to this employment law website or any of the links contained within the site do not create an attorney-client relationship. The legal opinions expressed at or through this site are the opinions of the individual lawyer and may not reflect the opinions of The Spitz Law Firm, Brian Spitz, or any individual attorney.