What are my rights if I am 8 months pregnant got fired but not for lack of job performance?

I have worked for a large trucking company for the past 3 years. I started at an entry level position and within 2 years, was promoted to General Manager. When I was promoted to GM I was 10 weeks pregnant and my employer was made aware at the time of my promotion. I am now due to deliver my child in less than a month. A few months ago, my doctor placed me on restriction. I can no longer lift more than 25 pounds or work more than 50 hours per week. My employer fired me since they state I should be working more than 60 hours per week and I am not able to lift the diesel truck tires during my late stage of pregnancy. These tires weigh anywhere from 50-75 pounds, depending on the brand. My employer stated that my doctor’s notes were not sufficient enough documentation. My store is grossly understaffed and my employer will not approve additional staff. My employer made no effort to accommodate my pregnancy.

Asked on September 1, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Colorado

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

The issue is whether they could accommodate you--and accommodation does not require them to hire additional staff to do your job. If due to the nature of your job and the business, they need people to work 50+ hours and you, in your position, to lift 50+ lb weights, then if you can't do those things, they may terminate you: accommodation involves making changes to policy or procedures that let you do your existing job, but if you simply can't do your job, the employer does not need to accommodate you by letting you work less, or hiring someone else to help out, or creating some new job for you that doesn't involve lifting.
Only if reasonably, the employer could have, without too much disruption or cost, have juggled or reassigned the schedules and duties of the existing staff as to accommodate your restrictions, would their failure to do so potentially be illegal. If you believe that was the case, contact the federal EEOC or your state's equal/civil rights agency to file a complaint.


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