Can My Employer Fire Me Due to the Pandemic Just Because I’m Pregnant?

The pregnancy period carries a lot of excitement for pregnantt mothers. Unfortunately, some business owners and managers have a negative stereotype towards pregnant women or fail to treat them with respect as they would treat other employees. The corona pandemic similarly presents a harsh environment to businesses. However, current employment laws remain protective to the employees even during the pandemic. Employers need to protect their workers, but this should not mean the termination of the most vulnerable workers. If you are pregnant and experiencing anxiety about whether your organization will fire you during the pandemic, this article has your answers. Let’s walk together.

Can an Employer Fire You Due to the Pandemic Just because you are Pregnant?

The correct answer to this question is no. The pandemic poses higher threats to pregnant women arising from cases of severe illnesses due to their conditions. Even so, your employer cannot take that as a compelling reason to dismiss you. Pregnancy discrimination remains alive and is illegal. This means if you are fired while pregnant, you should try to find out the reason behind your dismissal and ask yourself: was I treated differently from other women or worse? If the answer is yes, you may be to recover damages arising from the wrongful termination.

However, your boss can terminate you while pregnant if you are at will, and the termination does not go against the law. For instance, if you break company policies, are incompetent, insubordination, or even need to lay off some workers. Your pregnancy does not guarantee that you will keep your job despite going against the employment contract.

Reasonable Accommodations

While the law protects you from being terminated while pregnant, your employer can offer you a reasonable accommodation during your pregnancy during the pandemic. Simply put, a reasonable accommodation is a change in a work schedule or policy, or work environment that would allow you to perform your job.

Your employer should discuss whether the organization can offer you reasonable accommodation during your pregnancy in this corona period. For instance, your employer can offer to give you leave during your pregnancy as a reasonable accommodation. Alternatively, they can allow you to work from home to accommodate your pregnancy. You should not be terminated or discriminated against for receiving or asking for a reasonable accommodation.

Is Being Terminated for Being Pregnant Discriminatory?

Yes. You cannot be terminated for falling ill during your pregnancy period. Pregnant women are entitled to intermittent leave during their pregnancy. Your right to intermittent is what covers you from being terminated. You do not have to have worked for a certain period to qualify for the leave.

How do you Know your Termination was a Result of Your Pregnancy?

There are ways you can prove your pregnancy was the motivating factor for your termination. Some of the reasons include:
The timing is suspicious- Before your pregnancy, you had excellent reviews up. However, you began receiving write-ups for minor issues after the pregnancy despite working as before and were terminated. The coincidence of the negative write-ups and dismissal is suspicious and could be caused by your pregnancy.

You were treated differently from other non-pregnant women- Perhaps, it is normal for employees to receive two warnings before dismissal. You’re an exception, and it happens that you are the only one who is expectant. This suggests that the reason for your termination was discriminatory and might be caused by your pregnancy.

Your employer raised comments regarding pregnancy as a burden- Sometimes, employers raise negative comments to prove they are against pregnancy in the organization. Maybe, they said they could not have someone going on leave because of pregnancy, or pregnant women are less productive. These comments are enough to prove that your termination was pregnant related.

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