If you are fired for being pregnant, you need to gather all the evidence that you can to prove that you were fired only because you were pregnant. You can file a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
The EEOC will review your evidence and investigate your claim, trying to resolve the matter. Pregnancy discrimination is prohibited by federal law, and your employer can face penalties for terminating you because of your pregnancy.
What Is Pregnancy Discrimination?
The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 was enacted to prevent sexual discrimination based on a woman’s pregnancy. It forbids discrimination based on pregnancy when it comes to any - and all - aspects of employment, including firing, hiring, pay rate, promotions, training, layoffs, benefits packages, and any other work-related terms and conditions.
If you are treated unfavorably because of pregnancy, childbirth, or a medical condition related to pregnancy or childbirth, you can file a claim against your employer to recover your losses, including lost wages and benefits.
Proving Pregnancy Discrimination With Direct Evidence
If you have been a victim of pregnancy discrimination, you will need to prove your claim with direct evidence. Direct evidence supports your claim and shows that you are a victim of discrimination because of pregnancy or childbirth.
This evidence includes evidence – such as messages, audio recordings, memos, notes, and statements from witnesses. Also, if you can get statements from others who have been subjected to the same treatment or behavior from that same employer, it can be helpful.
As an example, any employee evaluations that show you were commended for doing a good job and that you were not being reprimanded for continuously doing things against policy.
You will also need your termination papers. If they put a reason for termination down, they will need to be able to back that up and show that you had done something wrong that deserved termination.
Proving Pregnancy Discrimination With Circumstantial Evidence
Circumstantial evidence can be helpful to your pregnancy discrimination case, but usually circumstantial evidence alone is not enough for your claim to be successful.
As an example, strange changes in your job duties, denying you a promotion without no real reason to do so, and acting differently after your pregnancy becomes known could be used as circumstantial evidence.
Statistical proof of how other employees who are also pregnant are treated could also help your claim.
Any - and all - evidence that you can gather can be beneficial to your pregnancy discrimination claim against your employer. Just like any other claim, evidence is essential to a successful workplace discrimination or harassment claim.
By enlisting the help of an experienced employment law attorney, you can improve the chances of your claim being successful and you receiving compensation for your damages.
If you have been fired because you are pregnant, you can work with an employment law attorney to file a claim with the EEOC against your employer.
Employment law attorneys are familiar with the state and federal laws that apply to your situation, and they will also investigate and help you gather the supporting evidence that you need to get your claim on track.
Your lawyer will work with the EEOC and if the issue is not resolved on that level, will help you file a lawsuit against your employer and ask for compensation for all the damages you suffered because of your employer’s illegal actions.
There are some employment law attorneys who take cases on a contingency basis, which means that they are not paid until you win your claim and recover compensation for your damages.
Your damages may include lost wages and benefits as well as mental anguish. There are some attorneys, however, who require a retainer to be paid in advance then they charge an hourly rate to provide legal representation. Be sure to go over the costs associated with your claim with your attorney.
You do have a limited time – called a statute of limitations – for pursuing a pregnancy discrimination claim against your employer.
If you wait too long, you cannot recover compensation for your damages. An attorney can be a real asset to your claim against your employer, so you should speak with a lawyer right away and determine the best way to proceed.
Complete the Free Case Evaluation Form on this page to share your claim details with an employment law attorney in your area.