Pregnancy Discrimination

19 Replies
Sandra - November 10

Five months into my pregnancy, my boss approached me and told me I had two choices: Work more hours or be fired. Because of my pregnancy I was not able to work more hours. I was fired. My doctor diagnosed me as high risk pregancy later. Have doc_mentation to prove that. Boss never consulted with me about my ability to work more hours before being fired. This is a large cooperation and I feel that I was singled out. I am sure it can be proven that other pregnant employees were not given that ultimatum, and were not forced to work additional hours during a pregnancy. Was I discriminated against.


Jbear - November 11

You can call the employment office in your state and ask them. If you had a note from your doctor stating that you could only work a certain number of hours, and you gave that note to your boss and then were fired, I think you would have a case. But if you didn't have a note, or had one but didn't give it to your boss, your boss could say he had no idea you were unable to work more hours. Being diagnosed with a high risk pregnancy later on wouldn't make a difference, because by then you were no longer employed by that company. But double check with the employment office in your state, you might live somewhere that has better laws protecting employees than I do.


Sandra - November 11

Jbear thank you for your response. The thing that really concerns me is that I was demanded to work more hours while five months pregnant. The law states that I should be given the same rights as other disabled workers. Other pregnant women were able to lighten their work load. And get this, during my first pregnancy, my work load was decreased. I was never given the option of providing doc_mentation for my ability to work. And even though I was diagnosed after the fact, that does not mean I was not experiences symptons before being fired. The problem was found through special testings. Neither myself or my doctor knew there was a problem. The test is only performed at a certain point during the pregnancy. Have you ever heard of a company who required a preganant woman to increase her work load. The job description required me to be on my feet at all times.


Jbear - November 11

During my first pregnancy I was working at a dry cleaners. I worked 12 hours a day 6 days a week with no breaks, even for lunch. I had preeclampsia, but my doctor wouldn't give me a note saying I needed to work less hours...she said she'd worked that much when she was pregnant. I had my daughter a month early and my employer called me in the hospital and fired me for not giving enough notice that I was having the baby...I tried to make some trouble for him, but I was told that he was within his rights. During my second pregnancy, I had a different doctor. At 18 weeks he gave me a note that I couldn't work more than 6 hours a day, couldn't lift more than 25lbs, had to be allowed to sit occasionally, and had to be allowed to go to the bathroom at least once an hour. The store I was working for then had no problem with it, since I had a doctor's note. I used to think most places wouldn't fire a pregnant woman, but my sister works for a software design firm and they just laid off a woman who was 35 weeks pregnant, so who knows anymore.


Sandra - November 11

Jbear Well I have a pending case against my employer with EEOC. And I hired a lawyer. My lawyer seems to think there may be something to it.


Confused - November 13

This post, and the responses, have me quite concerned. I'm a 47-year old woman (which, in of itself, is considered high-risk) who's pregnant with her fifth child, and if I didn't know better there have been times when I'd SWEAR my supervisor was singling me out and giving me a ration of doo-doo for stuff at work. I've worked at this job for 8 years, so it's not like I'm ignorant. It just seems, especially lately (I'm a few days short of 6 months along), that she has to find fault with something - anything - and has threatened to write me up a couple of times (she did this with another employer, when that person was going through a divorce). She's also said that "people" in the office (whom she wouldn't identify) said when they tried to contact me at my desk, I wasn't there (yet the people who actually work with me have said the complete opposite...that I practically have to be catapulted from my desk to take a break - which is also something this same supervisor used to say, prior to my pregnancy). Sometimes I feel like I'm being harra__sed and/or discriminated against, and occasionally I feel paranoid about some of my co-workers wondering if any of them are actually being trouble-makers rather than doing their work. What do I do? I don't wish to cause problems by contacting the human resources office, or the affirmative action office, unless I feel I have to, but feeling like I have a monkey on my back isn't pleasant (not to mention I can't afford the stress).


Sandra - November 14

Confused, Just to be on the safe side, you should doc_ment everything that happens. You never know what it will amount to. I felt as if I had been singled out also. I am waiting to her back from EEOC.


Jbear - November 14

Sandra, good to hear you were able to do something about it.


ally - November 29

sue them, u can get them for unfair disnisal and discrimination


ally - November 29

sorry dismissal


To Confused - November 30

"Retaliation" is against the law. If I were you, I would file a greviance with HR about your work situation, just to give them a heads up. Once your covered by that, your boss can't do anything to you. The same thing happened to me, and I wasn't even prg! I filed a "silent complaint", which is filed, but never brought out into the open unless something else happens. My boss tried to fire and write me up, but because I had doc_mentation with HR, she really couldn't do anything and I was transfered to a different department. Now I love my job and couldn't be working with better people. These people have been nothing but supportive during my pregnancy and there are 3 other people expecting in my office of 10 people total.


Nel - December 2

Since the rules are different in each state, contacting a lawer is the best bet. They can tell you what your best course of action is, and how to keep proper records.


Mongosmrs - February 16

I work for a small company (under 75 employees) in Texas. Unfortunately Texas has no laws, whatsoever, that protect the rights of a working pregnant woman. (Believe me... I've checked), but discrimination against familial status is protected in every state, I'm just not certain as to whether or not it applies. Just after finding out I was pregnant, my boss began harra__sing and picking on me. As I grow closer to my due date, it has only gotten worse. It seems that he's trying very hard to build a case against me so that he does not have to allow me the maternity leave our company handbook and policies says I am ent_tled to. He has even admitted to me that I have been singled out and am being picked on, but he hasn't said it was because I'm pregnant. When I told him that I could no longer climb stairs (my job sometimes requires it), he told me he could not treat me any differently than any other employee, in spite of my condition. I am in sales and my numbers are very strong so he can't very well fire me for not performing, but everytime I turn around he's treating me like I'm some kind of incompetent dumb a__s. Pardon my French, but I just get so angry with the whole situation!! This harra__sment isn't even subtle. I would quit, but I need the paycheck and the insurance and am ent_tled to receive the maternity benefits I was promised. Anyone have any suggestions? The stress alone is almost more than I can bear.


j - February 20

tell your boss that he's creating a hostile work environment for you, and also tell him that you are consulting an attorney with the admitted discrimination.


amanda103 - March 24

To Mongosmrs: Tell your boss that it's against the law to treat you like he is. He is discriminating against you. By LAW they have to treat pregnancy as a disability. Go to It's a federal law so it includes Texas as well. Good Luck! Don't let that SOB beat you!!


amanda103 - March 30

Mongosmrs, just wondering if there's any update with your situation?


Mongosmrs - March 31

amanda103, As a matter of fact, yes. Four days after posting that message, my boss called me into his office after our Monday morning sales meeting and told me that he did not want me in the field any longer, but that I could continue working from home without any interruption in my pay or benefits and where this may all sound very generous of him, I had absolutely no say in any of it and couldn't help but get the feeling that I was somehow or another being set up. My due date was still two months out at this time and since I'm having a c-section, I'm going to need a minimum of six weeks to recover before returning to work full time. That puts us at 3 1/2 months and under the FMLA guidelines, you are only permitted 12 weeks of secured leave. In spite of my absence, I have managed to keep my sales figures up by keeping in touch with my customers via the telephone and e-mail and everything seemed to be going very well until the other day when I received this proposterous e-mail from my boss accusing me of being insubordinate and of inconveincing the company by being away on leave. It's kind of a long story, but to make a long story short, the entire e-mail was nothing more than a bunch of trumped up c___p designed to make me look as though I had done something wrong. My guess is that it's going to be used as doc_mentation to try and fire me without it looking lke it had anything to do with my being pregnant, but I have kept everything carefully doc_mented ever since I first suspected that something like this was going to happen. I responded to his e-mail by reminding him that it was not my choice to take the leave, in the first place and that if I had been given a choice in the matter, I would have continued working for as long as possible. I'm not exactly sure what he thinks he's up to or who he thinks that e-mail is supposed to be fooling, but he has obviously miscalculated my intelligence if he thinks he's going to get away with it. I spoke to an attorney briefly on the subject and was advised to continue doc_menting every conversation, e-mail and event that may prove to be pertinent and I have every intention of filing a lawsuit if neccessary, in order to protect my rights. In the meantime, I'm going to continue working from home, just as I had agreed, and try not to allow myself to get too worked up over the whole situation. This is supposed to be a happy time in my life and come what may, I just want to be able to enjoy it. Thanks for your concern and I will keep you posted of any new developements.



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