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Wrongfully Terminated Due To Pregnancy Discrimination?

You’re entitled to earn a living regardless of your pregnancy or childbearing status. Both federal and state laws protect your right to remain employed for as long as want during your pregnancy. Your rights to be reasonably accommodated for your condition are also legally protected.

Sadly, not all employers follow the law when it comes to fairness and equal treatment. You can hold them accountable, and we can help.

If you have been wrongfully terminated due to pregnancy discrimination in the Chicago area, talk to our employment discrimination attorneys at FMCO Law. We are well-prepared to protect your rights. Drawing on many decades of experience, and a proven record of positive results, our lawyers will work steadfastly to see that you are fully compensated for your employer’s misconduct.

The Laws That Protect Your Right To Work During Pregnancy

At the federal level, The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) of 1979, added as an amendment to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, prohibits employers with 15 or more employees from making negative employment decisions based on pregnancy.

The Illinois Human Rights Act (IHRA) pregnancy discrimination law reinforces the federal law by forbidding any Illinois employer – even those with only a single employee – from discriminating against an employee based on pregnancy, childbirth or related conditions. This law applies to wrongful termination as well as to harassment or unfair treatment on the job.

It is notable that this law also makes it illegal to wrongfully terminate an employee who is perceived to be pregnant even if they are not. If your employer fired you because they assumed that your recent weight gain was evidence of gestation, your digestive upset was morning sickness or your frequent visits to the bathroom as related to pregnancy, you can file a lawsuit for wrongful termination for pregnancy discrimination even though you are not actually pregnant.

In Most Cases, Wrongful Termination Due To Pregnancy Is Disguised

Because most employers know they are violating the law if they terminate employees because they are pregnant, many cloak their reasons for wrongful termination as something else. For example, they might terminate your position due to so-called concern for your health (“You shouldn’t be on your feet so much while you’re expecting”).

Other unfair tactics may include comments like “We can’t have you greeting important clients looking like that,” or “How can you sell clothes you can’t even fit into?” Don’t let being stunned or embarrassed by such comments keep you from taking action to enforce your rights. As long as you know that you are meeting reasonable expectations of your job, you may be able to bring a claim against your employer.

When Wrongful Termination Is A Retaliatory Act

It’s important to remember that it is also illegal for an employer to fire you for complaining about any type of discrimination, including unfair treatment due to pregnancy.

If you feel that your employer is terminating you because you have spoken up about working conditions that you fear may harm your unborn baby, or about your company’s refusal to accommodate your needs during pregnancy, give us a call. Our team can begin filing the necessary paperwork to put you on a path to reclaiming your job and/or the damages you are owed.

Our Lawyers Will Work Tirelessly To Prove Your Case

We know precisely how best to put a winning case together, as we have done successfully so many times before. We will:

  • Examine your performance reviews and attendance records closely
  • Review all evidence you have in your possession
  • Speak to witnesses to uncover discriminatory or misogynistic attitudes

We needn’t have direct evidence of wrongful termination due to pregnancy discrimination to prove your case. In some cases, circumstantial evidence, particularly with regard to the timing of your termination, is sufficient. For example, suppose you were up for a raise and a promotion until the day you announced your pregnancy and then were suddenly told that the company’s bottom line was at risk and you would have to be let go. The timing of your dismissal is strong evidence of a discriminatory motive.

When Underlying Company Policies Are To Blame

Company policies themselves may also be discriminatory. If pregnant employees are routinely sent to work in the back, for instance, or obviously the first to be laid off when the company profits decrease, your company may be following policies that are illegal by nature.

Damages Our Pregnancy Discrimination Attorneys Will Fight To Win

If you have been wrongfully terminated from your workplace, you are entitled to damages (financial compensation) that will replace the income you have already lost and the months of income ahead that you intended to work until your due date. We will also seek damages for lost benefits and bonuses.

You also may be entitled damages for attorney fees, court costs and the extreme stress you have endured. As part of your settlement, we may also fight to have your employer hold your job for when you return to work after the birth of your child, if appropriate. We can also request that the company alter its discriminatory policies.

You Only Have A Limited Window Of Time To Pursue A Pregnancy Discrimination Time

All federal claims of discrimination must go through the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Typically, you have 180 days to file your wrongful termination claim, but in some cases are given 300 days to do so. The sooner you reach out for legal help, the sooner you can get the compensation you deserve.

Let Us Help You Enforce Your Employment Rights

You have the right to continue to work while pregnant. No employer has the right to fire you for carrying a child.

If your rights have been violated, contact our office in Geneva to schedule a free consultation. You can also call us at 630-912-5702. Our lawyers are determined to protect your rights. We will do everything in our power to win you the compensation you need to support your growing family.