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Can I be fired after getting pregnant?

Best Wrongful Termination Attorney Answer: No. Several federal and state laws protect pregnant women from employment discrimination, harassment, and wrongful termination by their employers. Your supervisor or manager cannot treat you less favorably, pay you less, refuse to hire, nor withhold promotions or pay raises because you are pregnant or due to issues related to your pregnancy.

What laws protect pregnant women from employment discrimination at work?

Best Gender Discrimination Lawyer Answer: Pregnancy Discrimination is a form of gender discrimination. Among other protected classes, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is a federal law that prohibits employment discrimination because of an individual employee’s sex. 42 U.S.C. § 2000e–2(a). The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 (“PDA”) amended Title VII to provide that “[t]he terms ‘because of sex’ or ‘on the basis of sex’ include, but are not limited to, because of or on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions …” 42 U.S.C. § 2000e(k). Pursuant to the PDA, “women affected by pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions shall be treated the same for all employment-related purposes ….” Id. Title VII also prohibits employers from discriminating or retaliating against employees for complaining about harassment or discrimination in the workplace. 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-3(a).

How do you prove pregnancy discrimination?

Best Pregnancy Discrimination Attorney Answer: There are two different methods to prove pregnancy discrimination. Disparate treatment based on the prohibited consideration of a woman’s pregnancy “is proven by either using direct evidence of intent to discriminate or using indirect evidence from which a court could infer intent to discriminate.” Doe v. C.A.R.S Prot. Plus, Inc., 527 F.3d 358, 364 (3d Cir.).

What is direct evidence of pregnancy discrimination in the workplace?

Best Employment Discrimination Lawyer Answer: The first option to prove pregnancy discrimination is for the pregnant women to present direct evidence that the employer refused to hire her, treated her less favorably, or fired her specifically because of her pregnancy. Direct evidence is evidence that would prove the prohibited intent to discriminate without having to make an inference or presumption. Torre v. Casio, Inc., 42 F.3d 825, 829 (3d Cir. 1994). “When determining whether proffered evidence constitutes direct evidence of discrimination, [the court] consider[s] whether the evidence, if believed, compels the conclusion that [discriminatory] animus played a part in the challenged decision.” Weigel v. Baptist Hosp. of E. Tennessee, 302 F.3d 367, 383 (6th Cir. 2002). In order to constitute direct evidence, “the evidence must demonstrate that the ‘decision makers placed substantial negative reliance on an illegitimate criterion in reaching their decision.’” Anderson v. Consol. Rail Corp., 297 F.3d 242, 248 (3d Cir. 2002) (quoting Connors v. Chrysler Financial Corp., 160 F.3d 971, 976 (3d Cir. 1998)). “Direct evidence in pregnancy discrimination cases is generally in the form of an admission by a decisionmaker that an employee’s pregnancy affected an employment decision, such as suspending or terminating an employee because she was pregnant or delaying hiring an applicant until after she has delivered her baby. Wexler v. Kennesaw Pediatrics, P.C., No. 1:16-CV-1491-TCB-JSA, 2017 WL 3034734, at *14 (N.D. Ga. May 2, 2017)(citing to See, e.g., EEOC v. Wal-mart Stores, Inc., 156 F.3d 989, 990–92 (9th Cir. 1998); Smith v. F.W. Morse & Co., 76 F.3d 413, 421 (1st Cir. 1996); Troupe v. May Dep’t Stores Co., 20 F.3d 734, 736 (7th Cir. 1994)).

How can an employer prove pregnancy discrimination in the workplace through indirect evidence?

Best Workplace Discrimination Lawyer Answer: Because it is very rare for a manger or supervisor to come right out and say that they are discriminating against an employee because of a protected class, the United States Supreme Court in a case called McDonnell Douglas Corp. v. Green, 411 U.S. 792 (1973), set up a burden shifting test to determine if their was an unspoken discriminatory reason for the employer taking an adverse employment act against the employee. (Best Law Read: What Is An Adverse Employment Action?). Then in Young v. United Parcel Service, Inc., the United States Supreme Court directly applied the McDonnell Douglas test to pregnancy discrimination and failure-to-accommodate claims arising under the PDA. For a discrimination, under the McDonnell Douglas test, the employee must first present evidence that: (The plaintiff makes out a prima facie case, which means demonstrating that: (1) the employee is a member of a protected class – in this case pregnant; (2) the employee was qualified for the position; (3) the employer took an adverse action against the employee, such as a demotion or termination of employment; and (4) the employee was replaced by or treated differently than a worker outside the protected class. If an employee produces evidence on each of these elements, the employer has the opportunity to justify its adverse employment action against the employee by providing one or more “legitimate, nondiscriminatory” reasons for its actions. “That reason normally cannot consist simply of a claim that it is more expensive or less convenient to add pregnant women to the category of those whom the employer accommodates.” Young at 208. Should the employer provide a “legitimate, nondiscriminatory” reason unrelated to the pregnancy, the burden shifts back to the employee to show that the employer’s alleged reason is not true or did not actually motivate the employer’s actions. (Best Law Read: Employment Discrimination Question: What Is Pretext? ). If a jury believes that the employee has proved this last step of showing pretext, the employee wins.

What is an example of pregnancy discrimination?

Best Refusal To Hire Attorney Answer: Today’s example comes courtesy of Bourne’s House, LLC, which operates its business under the name Bourne’s House Restaurant. A woman applied for a job at their Franklinton, Louisiana restaurant. The manager interviewed her, liked her and her related experience, and hired her. This means that at that time, the manager thought that she was qualified for the job. Shortly after hiring her, the manager located information online that indicated that the new woman worker was pregnant. Using that social media platform, the manager sent a message to the pregnant waitress saying, “I’m not gonna be able to hire you. I didn’t realize that you were expecting a baby.” Well, this is one of those few times that there is direct evidence. Even if not for the express statement of pregnancy discrimination, the employer hired a non-pregnant woman to replace her and obviously does not have a non-discriminatory reason unrelated to her pregnancy as a basis for their action.

To make matters worse, the woman worker reapplied for a job a few months down road, the employer wrote “pregnant” on her application and refused to hire her. (Best Law Read: How Do You Prove An Unlawful Failure To Hire Claim?; How Do I Prove A Failure Hire Case?). This is now the second writing establishing direct evidence of pregnancy discrimination as well as the second averse action.

Apparently, the employer would not initially admit the violation, which resulted in a lawsuit. At some point, a federal judge probably explained they had some trouble, or they realized how much it would cost to defend the action. (Best Law Read: What Is The Cost To Defend An Employment Lawsuit?; Paying A Lot To Defend A Wrongful Termination Claim Does Not Mean You’ll Win). At any rate, the employer eventually settled the case for $30,000 and some nonmonetary considerations.

What should I do if I lost my job when I got pregnant?

Best Employees’ Rights Law Firm Answer: 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 Spitz, The Employee’s Law Firm to schedule a free and confidential initial consultation, you will meet with an experienced attorney to discuss discrimination, wrongful firing claims, and gender/sex discrimination claims. (Read: What is the Spitz No Fee Guarantee?) Our pregnancy discrimination lawyers know your rights and will fight to protect them. Call our top attorneys in Cleveland, Cincinnati, Columbus, Toledo, Youngtown, Detroit, and Raleigh.


The employment rights materials available at the top of this page and on this employment discrimination and harassment 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 if my manager fired my when I told him I was pregnant”, “I was cut from schedule because I’m pregnant”, or “How do I sue for wrongful termination if I was fired today?”, your best option is to contact an employment law 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.

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