Best Ohio Pregnancy Discrimination Attorney Answer: Do I need to disclose that I’m pregnant to a potential employer? Can I be asked if I’m pregnant on a job interview? What should I do if I was fired when I told my boss about my pregnancy?
I’ve always had a special admiration for mothers. Not just my mom, although she’s great, but the many incredible women in my life who are mothers. They are hardworking, caring, and arguably the back-bone of family life. I think maybe the most admirable thing about mothers and mothers-to-be is that they somehow manage to balance busy work schedules, having children, taking care of their families, along with everything else that life throws at them. Modern mothers and mothers-to-be must do it all. The days where pregnant women stayed at home are long gone, and many strive to move up in their careers as working mothers. As much as we would like to hope that times have changed, and pregnancy doesn’t affect a women’s career negatively any more, the fact of the matter is that pregnancy discrimination still happens quite frequently in Ohio and workplaces across the United States. Every employee deserves to be treated fairly by their boss, manager and supervisor when it comes to training, discipline and key employment decisions, regardless if she is pregnant or not. Sometimes though, discrimination can happen on your first few days of work.
A perfect example of this comes from Colorado. Jennifer Rodriguez was a qualified candidate who successfully completed a few rounds of interviews and was hired by a law firm. After only 10 days on the job, she told her boss at her job that she was pregnant. She was fired the next day. When Jennifer was fired from her job after telling her boss that she was pregnant, the law firm she worked for broke the law. One would think that a lawyer in charge of a law firm employing many attorneys would best be in a position to know employment law. Pregnancy discrimination is a form of gender/sex that is plainly unlawful under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 (“PDA”), and Ohio’s R.C. § 4112.02. Under these employment laws, it is unlawful for an employer to take any adverse employment action against an employee because of her pregnancy – which includes a refusal to hiring or promote, demotion, pay cut, removal of key job responsibilities, and, of course, termination. To that end, when her lawyer boss fired her, she became an obvious victim of wrongful termination.
When Jennifer launched Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) complaint, her lawyer boss claimed that the reason she was fired was for “poor work performance” and “failing to disclose all the details about her circumstances.” (See Top Employment Law Attorney: Do Not File With The EEOC Without Doing This First; File With The EEOC Or Get A Lawyer? Call The Right Attorney; Should I Get A Lawyer To Help Me File An EEOC Charge?; and Should I File With The EEOC On My Own? Call The Right Attorney). The law firm basically gave all the “usual excuses” that employment discrimination attorneys hear all the time. In lawyer talk, we call this pretext, which means a lie about the reason for the wrongful firing or other adverse employment action. As you can expect, employers, bosses and managers typically lie when accused of engaging in employment discrimination — which is why the best option is to get help from qualified employment discrimination attorneys as soon as possible.
In Jennifer’s own words, “I asked for an explanation [why I was fired] and he told me because I was dishonest with not revealing I was pregnant within my first interview or my second interview.” At the time of her termination Jennifer was in her third trimester— 8 months pregnant.
The employer’s defense, in our employment attorneys’ humble opinion is really quite stupid. Essentially, the employer argued that had she told us that she was pregnant, we would not have hired her in the first place. As I pointed out earlier, refusing to hire an employee because she is pregnant is also unlawful. Moreover, employees are not required to disclose their pregnancy at the time of application or at the interview. Indeed, if an employer dare ask about pregnancy as part of the job application process, our employment law lawyers will use it as evidence to support a discrimination, refusal to hire, and/or wrongful termination.
Luckily for Jennifer, and expectant mothers like Jennifer, she is protected. Her boss and the law firm that she worked for had to pay out a settlement—$30,000 and to top it off, the firm had to attend sensitivity and discrimination training! While nothing can truly heal the hurt caused by discrimination, we employee discrimination attorneys consider this a win because Jennifer has means to support her new born child.
When I hear stories like Jennifer’s it always makes me so sad. Mothers, and expecting mothers deserve love and fairness. Pregnancy should be a joyful time, not riddled with fear and anxiety about losing your job.
Getting fired, demoted, or denied a promotion while pregnant is traumatizing. However, as our employment discrimination attorneys previously blogged about, pregnant women are protected from this type of unfair treatment. (My Employer Fired Me Because I Was Pregnant!, Can My Boss Discriminate Against Me When I Get Pregnant?, Can I Sue If I Was Fired Because I Got Pregnant?).
The PDA, which was added to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 in 1978, prohibits employers from discriminating against employees based on pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. In other words, the PDA makes it illegal for an employer to consider a woman’s pregnancy when deciding on promotions, hire, pay, job assignments, layoffs, terminations, and any other term or condition of employment. Women should not have to put up with this type of gender discrimination. Employers should know better than this, but you would be surprised at how often our employment law attorneys are confronted with ignorant or just plain evil employers who don’t care about pregnant women nor the laws that protect them.
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.