Lebau & Neuworth recently obtained a favorable determination on behalf of a client who was 7-1/2 months pregnant and fired from a small, family-run, Inner Harbor restaurant and tavern where she waited tables and did some bartending.
The manager told our client that she could only return to work if she could a get a doctor’s note saying that her job was not going to endanger her or her unborn baby. The Baltimore City Civil Rights Commission had no problem finding in our client’s favor, summarizing the case as follows:
"The [Commission] finds probable cause to believe that [the employer] terminated [client], or subjected her to unequal terms and conditions, as a result of her sex (Female) and disability (Pregnancy), and in retaliation for participating in a protected activity. The Commission finds that [the Employer] failed to articulate a legitimate business reason for the adverse employment actions taken against [Client], i.e., reducing her work hours and requiring her to sign a waiver of liability to protect the business in the event [Client] or her unborn child were injured while at work. The Commission further finds that assuming (arguendo) that [Client] did articulate a legitimate business reason for the adverse employment actions taken against [Client], that the reason articulated was a pretext for the real reason, unlawful discrimination."
The manager also made offensive comments regarding our client’s physical appearance.
Just about the time Lebau & Neuworth attained justice for this client, the NY Times published an article titled “Pregnancy Discrimination Is Rampant Inside America’s Biggest Companies.” The article shows that small businesses are not the only ones engaging in pregnancy discrimination; the first three paragraphs tell it all:
"American companies have spent years trying to become more welcoming to women. They have rolled out generous parental leave policies, designed cushy lactation rooms and plowed millions of dollars into programs aimed at retaining mothers."
But these advances have not changed a simple fact: Whether women work at Walmart or on Wall Street, getting pregnant is often the moment they are knocked off the professional ladder.
Throughout the American workplace, pregnancy discrimination remains widespread. It can start as soon as a woman is showing and it often lasts through her early years as a mother.
If you believe you have been a victim of pregnancy discrimination, Lebau & Neuworth can help you get the justice you deserve as an expecting mother. Contact the Employee Rights attorneys at Lebau & Neuworth at 888-456-2529 or lebauneuworth.com/contact-us.