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 a workplace fire an employee after a pregnancy is over?

On Behalf of | Jan 24, 2023 | Pregnancy Discrimination

Going through pregnancy should be a time to anticipate a new arrival to your family and the joys of motherhood. If you fear for your job, you should know that federal law does not allow employers to discriminate against workers who are pregnant.

However, you might wonder if your job will remain protected from discrimination or termination after you have given birth. To answer this question, you should know how federal law addresses a post-pregnancy situation.

Addressing post-pregnancy situations

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act establishes job protections for pregnant employees, but it goes further. According to the EEOC, the law does not permit women to suffer discrimination on account of past pregnancies.

In addition, an employer cannot discriminate because of events related to a past pregnancy. For example, an employer cannot fire an employee due to the event of childbirth or any health conditions that arise from the birth.

Possible indications of discrimination

An employer could get into legal trouble by carrying out discriminating actions during intervals of time relating to a pregnancy. One period involves taking time off for medical leave to have a baby and recover from the pregnancy. Another is parental leave, when you leave work for a time to care for your newborn.

Losing your job during these periods could look highly suspicious. Your employer might come up with an explanation, but a court may determine that your employer lacks a plausible reason to let you go.

Know your rights

Discrimination can happen at multiple stages during pregnancy. Unfortunately, some employers decide they do not want a worker dealing with the beginning stages of parenthood and take illegal action to fire the employee.

It is important to understand your rights so you do not lose your job on account of starting a family.