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What Do I Do If I’m Fired Right After I Returned From Maternity Leave? Call The Right Employment Discrimination Attorney

| Oct 8, 2014 | Employment Discrimination, Gender Discrimination, pregnancy maternity rights, Wrongful Termination |

Best Ohio Pregnancy Discrimination Attorney Answer: Can my boss force me to be married if I get pregnant? Should I sign the documents provided by employer after I’m terminated? If my supervisor fires me for getting pregnant, can I sue for wrongful termination? Do I have a claim of gender discrimination in Ohio?

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In the early 1960’s the New York debuted a mascot in the shape of man with a giant baseball for a head.  The mascot was named Mr. Met, and since that time, Mr. Met has become one of the most recognizable team mascots in Major League Baseball.  Mr. Met has even named the top mascot in U.S. sports and has been inducted into the mascot hall of fame.  Not long after introducing Mr. Met, the New York Mets also debuted a female mascot named Lady Met.

Lady Met, subsequently re-named Mrs. Met, is one of the oldest mascots in the game.  At some point in 1980’s the team discontinued using Mrs. Met, and in the early and mid 2000’s attempted to revive the character.  Just over a year ago, the team brought Mrs. Met back in full sincerity and according to her Wikipedia webpage, the team made the announcement that Mrs. Met had been, “working as an event planner and was ready to return to full-time work now that her children are grown.”

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The announcement seems a bit ironic now, in the face of a lawsuit recently filed by a former employee who happens to be the team’s first female Senior Vice President. Given the allegations in the complaint and the tongue-in-cheek announcement of Mrs. Met’s return to work, it may appear to some that the Mets believe mothers of young children are incapable of holding full time jobs, and even less capable if they happen to be a single mom.

In her complaint, Leigh Castergine alleges that after she became pregnant she was treated differently and less favorably than male employees, and ultimately terminated as a result of becoming a mother.  Castergine graduated from an Ivy League school where she was an NCAA Division 1 soccer player.  After graduation she got into the field of professional sports management by working her way up the corporate chain from a ticket agent with the Philadelphia 76ers, and subsequent positions with the Orlando Magic and Boston Bruins.  Eventually, Castergine was hired by the Mets as a Vice President of Ticket Sales.

Castergine alleges that she received several substantial pay raises and a six figure bonus during her employment with the Mets, and that she was regularly applauded for her performance.  Castergine claims that her problems started after she disclosed her pregnancy to her employer.  Following the disclosure, Castergine’s boss made it clear that he opposed her pregnancy due to the fact that she was not married.  Castergine alleges that her boss told her to tell her boyfriend that when she gets a ring she will “make more money and get a bigger bonus.”  Castergine also recalled him comparing his moral opposition to e-cigarette advertising to his moral opposition at Castergine’s pregnancy out of wedlock.  The complaint also alleges that after her return from maternity leave, Castergrine’s boss stated that it seemed like “something had changed” and accused her of being less “aggressive.”

Castergrine was eventually terminated for alleged performance issues, but she claims that the slump in sales was the result of the employee who took over for her during maternity leave.  She instead points to her achievements and strong sales during a time when selling Mets tickets was likened to “selling tickets to a funeral” and the fact that she received a six figure bonus based on her own sales results.

Although Castergrine’s case was filed in New York, her situation is relative and applicable to locals in Ohio.  As we have blogged about before, laws in the state of Ohio, including Ohio Revised Code § 4112.02(A), make 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.”

Notably, the phrase “because of sex” that appears in § 4112.02(A) is meant to include “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.” Furthermore, § 4112.01(B) 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.

Critically, your manager can not set different standards for men and women regarding the birth of a child. It is wholly illegal to punish single mother while doing absolutely nothing to single fathers.

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.

Disclaimer:

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.