Pregnant and Laid Off? Learn 3 Ways to Fight Back

In today’s economic climate, many Americans are worried about losing their jobs – including pregnant women. Laying off an employee simply because she’s expecting is a blatant act of discrimination, and it’s also illegal under The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Even so, thousands of pregnant women say they’ve been discriminated against because of their pregnancy. It’s estimated that the number of pregnancy discrimination charges has risen by 50 percent since 2009.

So what can you do if you’re an expecting mom and suspect you’ve been laid off because you’re pregnant? Here are a few suggestions:

1. Get objective. Think about the situation objectively. Were you laid off after announcing your pregnancy or requesting maternity leave? Did your employer ever make derogatory remarks about your pregnancy? Were you told that your position was being eliminated? Write down the facts, including names, dates, statements made and witnesses.

2. Talk to a lawyer. If you suspect that your pregnancy was the primary reason for being laid off, talk to a lawyer. A lawyer will be vital in your situation in several ways. First, you can find out whether or not you actually have a case. If you do have a pregnancy discrimination case, your lawyer will take care of everything for you, from examining all the documentation relating to your layoff, gathering additional information to build your case, interviewing witnesses, and representing you in court, if necessary. With more and more corporations downsizing their work forces, it’s possible that cases of pregnancy related discrimination are being obscured. An experienced lawyer can help you uncover the truth.

3. Prepare for a marathon, not a sprint. Discrimination cases can be complicated, but they’re worth the time and the effort. You could receive compensation for medical care, lost wages, emotional distress and more, which can be a huge relief when you have an addition to the family.

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act protects pregnant women in other ways, too. Here are some examples:

  • Employers cannot refuse to hire you because you are pregnant.
  • Employers cannot discriminate against pregnant women with regard to pay, job assignments, promotions, training, fringe benefits and any other condition of employment.

Women are also protected after giving birth. Under the Family and Medical Leave Act, you are allowed to take 12 weeks of unpaid leave with the assurance that you will keep your current position or be offered an equivalent position upon your return, if you work at a company with more than 5 employees and have worked at least 1250 hours.

If you are laid off after requesting maternity leave, it could be a violation of the Family and Medical Leave Act. A“>workers’ compensation attorney at 1-800-THE-LAW2 could help you get compensation or get your job back.

No matter what your situation is, our lawyers are here to help you and your family move forward. Call us now, and we’ll connect you with a lawyer who is experienced with pregnancy discrimination cases.