In early 2015, a female applicant of a brokerage firm in Florida was hired, only to be fired within the hour after inquiring about their maternity policy and disclosing she was pregnant. Her offer was abruptly rescinded citing that they needed someone who would be in the position for the “long-term”. The applicant filed a claim with the EEOC for pregnancy discrimination in July of 2016 and recently settled her case for $100,000 in damages and an agreement that the company would change their policies in order avoid pregnancy discrimination in the hiring process and create awareness for gender discrimination.
It is illegal under city, state and federal law for an employer to discriminate against you on the basis of your pregnancy. These laws were established so employees would be judged on their qualifications rather than innate characteristics over which they have no control. If you believe that an employer has terminated you, refused to hire you, disciplined or demoted you because of pregnancy, you may have a claim.
Discrimination claims are often difficult to prove because an employer rarely admits to making a decision on the basis of pregnancy. An employer may take adverse employment actions against you for a seemingly legitimate reason, although discriminatory motive was the real reason for the conduct. In such a situation, you are entitled to demonstrate that your employers’ “legitimate reason” was actually pretext for hiding discrimination.
In this situation, the employer made several assumptions that the employee would be unavailable to complete her job function simply based only on the fact that she was pregnant. However, as argued in this matter, employers should assume pregnant employees can perform their job until they ask for accommodations or until proven otherwise.
If you or anyone you know is facing some sort of pregnancy discrimination in the workplace, please call the employment lawyers at Fitapelli & Schaffer, LLP. We offer a free phone consultation with one of our experienced attorneys. We can be reached at (212) 300-0375 or visit our website at www.fslawfirm.com for more information.