What to do about lost shifts due to my pregnancy?

I’ve worked for the same company and have had the same schedule for the past 11 years. When I was 8 months pregnant, my employer handed me an envelope with cash in it and said I was now on leave because he didn’t want me to get hurt on the job. I had asked him if I can sign a waiver, because I needed to continue working and my doctor said I was fine to work. I returned to work 6 weeks after I had my baby, but they had taken 2 shifts away from me. I have been asking for weeks to have my shifts back, but they are now someone else’s. Is there any legal action I can take?

Asked on November 6, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Illinois

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

You may have grounds to bring an employment discrimination lawsuit: it is illegal to discriminate against a woman in employment, including against a woman because she was pregnant or had a child. Reducing your shifts could constitute such discrimination, if there was no other good reason for it (e.g. cutbacks at work affecting other people, too; you not being available for certain shifts; etc.). Since from what you write, you may be facing discrimination, you should contact your state equal/civil rights agency, or speak with an employment law attorney about a possible suit.


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