Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Dear Helpline

When I told my boss I was pregnant, he said, "That’s unfortunate! You had so much potential." I'm afraid he's going to cut my hours – or worse, fire me. Is this legal? What rights do I have?

You are protected by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act from being discriminated against in employment & employment decisions while you are pregnant. PDA says that all workplaces that engage in interstate commerce (using phones/the internet actually counts for this!) and have 15 or more employees cannot discriminate against pregnant women when making hiring/promotion decisions, cannot force a pregnant woman to take leave, and cannot deny pregnant women the same benefits they give to other "temporarily disabled" employees. Therefore, it is unlawful for your employer to cut your hours, refuse to promote you, or to fire you based solely on your pregnancy. And, if he should do so, that statement he made could be sufficient grounds for filing a discrimination charge with the EEOC.

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