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Can I Get Fired If I’m Pregnant?

Can I Get Fired If I’m Pregnant?

Understanding your rights as an employee is paramount, especially when facing situations that could significantly impact your life and career. Pregnancy, a time of both joy and immense change, should not be a period filled with anxiety over job security. At Marshall Forman & Schlein LLC, we are dedicated to ensuring that pregnant employees are fully aware of their rights and protections against wrongful termination. Our team of experienced attorneys is here to guide you through the legal landscape, ensuring your career does not suffer due to pregnancy.

Understanding Your Rights in Ohio

Ohio operates under the at-will employment doctrine, which generally allows employers and employees to terminate employment for any reason. However, this does not grant employers to act unlawfully. There are critical exceptions to this rule, especially concerning discrimination and wrongful termination. It’s essential to know that being pregnant is not a valid reason alone for termination under any circumstances.

Federal and State Protections for Pregnant Employees

Pregnant employees enjoy robust protections under both federal and state laws. The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) are pivotal in prohibiting U.S. employers from terminating or discriminating against employees due to pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions. Furthermore, Ohio’s parental leave laws fortify these protections, ensuring pregnant workers are treated fairly.

The Ohio Supreme Court recognizes exceptions to the at-will employment doctrine based on statutes, public policy or the terms of an express or implied contract. This means that if an employee is discharged in violation of these principles, they may have grounds for a “wrongful discharge” claim.

Moreover, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces three key federal laws protecting pregnant job applicants and employees:

  1. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA), prohibits sex discrimination, including discrimination based on pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions.
  2. The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA) mandates reasonable accommodation for workers’ known limitations related to pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions, barring undue hardship on the employer.
  3. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), while not considering pregnancy itself a disability, protects pregnant workers with impairments related to their pregnancy that qualify as a disability under the ADA.

These laws collectively ensure that pregnant employees cannot be discriminated against or fired simply for being pregnant. They also highlight employers’ obligation to provide reasonable accommodations and maintain confidentiality regarding medical records and information.

Stand Up for Your Rights Alongside Our Attorneys

If you believe you have faced discrimination or wrongful termination due to pregnancy, it’s crucial to take action. At Marshall Forman & Schlein LLC, we understand the intricacies of employment and civil rights law. We are committed to providing you with a tailored strategy that addresses your specific needs, ensuring the best possible outcome for your case.

If you suspect you’ve been wrongfully terminated or discriminated against because of your pregnancy, don’t hesitate to reach out for a consultation.

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