Is it pregnancy discrimination if i am fired while on maternity leave?
By Ricotta & Marks, P.C. on March 14th, 2022 in
Being subjected to pregnancy discrimination can have life-long emotional and financial consequences. It is prohibited, under state and federal law, to treat a woman unfavorably due to her pregnancy or childbirth status. If an employer is found to be in violation of these laws, you may be able to seek legal recourse.
If you are wondering, “is it pregnancy discrimination if I am fired while on maternity leave?” or how to prove pregnancy discrimination, we can help. The team of experienced pregnancy discrimination attorneys at Ricotta & Marks, P.C. can help you determine whether or not unlawful pregnancy discrimination has occurred. We can also assist you in seeking remedies. Call our experienced attorneys today at 347-321-8895 to learn more about how we can advocate for you.
Is It Pregnancy Discrimination If I Am Fired While On Maternity Leave?
For many women, maternity leave is a beautiful and important time during their journey as a mother. Maternity leave is also guaranteed by federal and state law, ensuring that new parents do not have to choose between work and family-related responsibilities. But what do those laws cover? Is it considered discrimination if you are fired while on maternity leave? Those are pertinent questions that pregnant women must consider while navigating their work-life balance.
Under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978, discrimination based on pregnancy, childbirth, or pregnancy-related health conditions is explicitly prohibited. This means that treating a pregnant woman or new mother unfavorably could have serious legal consequences. Pregnancy discrimination, broadly, refers to any unfair treatment of employees or job applicants who are pregnant or have recently given birth, due to their pregnancy status. This unfair treatment can impact several areas of employment, including firing, hiring, pay, job assignments, and fringe benefits.
Included in fringe benefits is maternity leave. Therefore, if a new mother is fired from her place of employment solely because of her status as a new mother, or because she has taken maternity leave, the dismissal is considered discriminatory. An employer may not dismiss an employee due to her pregnancy, childbirth, or pregnancy-related condition. Doing so is a violation of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act.
On the other hand, however, it is permissible to terminate the employment of a woman on maternity leave if the termination is not based on pregnancy. The issue of “is it pregnancy discrimination if I am fired while on maternity leave?” is not always clear. You must consider what the motivating factors were for the dismissal. If you were dismissed because of the pregnancy, then the dismissal is considered pregnancy discrimination.
Most employers would not admit to dismissing an employee due to pregnancy. There are certain steps that are usually taken before an employer can dismiss an employee due to poor performance. If these steps were not followed before dismissal, proving pregnancy discrimination may be possible.
How Can I Prove Pregnancy Discrimination In The Workplace?
Proving pregnancy discrimination in the workplace can be difficult, but it is entirely feasible with the right help. In order to prove pregnancy discrimination, you must demonstrate that any unfavorable treatment can be sourced back to one of the following:
- You are pregnant
- You have just given birth
- You are dealing with a pregnancy-related condition
It can be difficult to prove pregnancy discrimination, especially when the discriminatory behavior was subtle or pervasive. Some of the more common examples of pregnancy discrimination include:
- Pressure to resign from a position due to having given birth
- A reduction in pay or hours due to pregnancy
- Failure to provide leave to an employee who is experiencing a pregnancy-related condition
- Singling out a pregnant employee for special procedures to determine their ability to work
- Reducing an employee’s shifts, therefore impacting their maternity leave
- Ruling that an employee may not return to work after childbirth
- Refusing to grant an employee maternity leave during their period of eligibility
If your employee engaged in any of the aforementioned behaviors, you may be able to file a claim for pregnancy discrimination. A pregnancy discrimination lawyer at Ricotta & Marks, P.C. can help you determine whether or not you experienced illegal discrimination at the hands of your employer.
How Can Ricotta & Marks, P.C. Pregnancy Discrimination Lawyers Help?
Unfortunately, pregnancy discrimination occurs often, both in New York City and the country at large. At Ricotta & Marks, we understand how devastating this discrimination can be. You may feel alone, but many women wonder if it is pregnancy discrimination if they are fired while on maternity leave as well as other related questions. Navigating these issues can be complicated. For this reason, Ricotta & Marks, P.C. pregnancy discrimination lawyers are here to help. Consider contacting us at 347-960-4383 to speak with an experienced attorney today.