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Your employer cannot fire you because of your pregnancy

On Behalf of | Apr 5, 2024 | Workplace Discrimination |

There have been significant improvements in gender equality in the workplace. Companies with equal gender distribution among their workers are continuously increasing throughout the years. More women are also present in industries previously perceived as jobs for men. However, amidst this progress, there are still employers who think having female employees is expensive for their companies. They might suddenly force pregnant employees to leave work, masking it as concern for the employee’s health. This form of belief and mistreatment causes distress to the employee and is also illegal.

If you are a pregnant employee, know that there is a Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA) protecting you from workplace discrimination and harassment. Among other instances, the PWFA prevents your employer from forcing a work arrangement without your consent, such as:

  • Giving you fewer work assignments
  • Preventing you from getting a promotion
  • Forcing you to take a leave
  • Firing you from work

Your employer could discuss alterations in your work arrangements if they pose a significant risk to you and others in the workplace. Your employer could also talk to you about preparing arrangements to ease operational disruptions when you go on maternity leave. Likewise, you have the right to request work accommodations when needed and if advised by your doctor. You can ask for a change in schedule or work conditions if it affects your health and safety. However, when your employer decides on these changes without prior discussions with you, it could be a sign of workplace discrimination. Aside from the stress this situation could give you, the sudden change in work arrangements could also impact your income.

Understanding your rights would help you hold your employer accountable for workplace discrimination. If you think that you were fired or forced to quit because of your pregnancy, there are legal options available to you to protect your rights as an employee.