Maloney O'Laughlin PLLC fights for employees throughout Washington, from Seattle to Spokane.

Maloney O'Laughlin PLLC fights for employees throughout Washington, from Seattle to Spokane.

Can pregnant workers get fired for not wearing the uniform?

On Behalf of | Sep 19, 2022 | Pregnancy Discrimination

Many jobs require a uniform, and for a number of those, not adhering to the dress code is a good enough reason for an employee to end up fired.

However, exceptions to this rule do exist. For example, pregnant workers must have an allowance and do not have to follow strict dress codes.

Pregnant women vs. workplace uniforms

The Equality and Human Rights Commission discusses allowances that should happen for pregnant workers. They specifically mention dress codes as an area that requires allowances.

Unfortunately, cases in the past have set this precedent. In one case, a woman working at a restaurant that required waitresses to wear shorts and tight tank tops would not allow for her to change her uniform even when her pregnancy made it difficult and then impossible to wear comfortably. They fired her due to this reason alone.

Textbook pregnancy discrimination

But this is textbook discrimination based on pregnancy. If the woman was not pregnant, she could have continued to wear the uniform. Thus, she would not have lost her job.

In this case, the woman was able to take the matter to court and was awarded damages for the discrimination she faced. Any other worker facing similar circumstances might have the opportunity to gain similar compensation.

This also applies to less extreme situations, such as certain dress codes requiring formal attire and not taking into consideration the fit of maternity wear.

It is important for pregnant women to understand their rights when they go to work every day. Knowing what their employers can and cannot legally do gives them the ability to defend themselves against unfair behavior.