If I was recently fired for an absence due to pregnancy illness, can I sue?

I was approved for workplace accommodations starting the 1st of this month. However, on the 30th of this last month they fired me for being absent on the 27th. I applied for FMLA prior to this but was told i did not qualify because I hadn’t been with the company for 12 months. I have been in the same role for the last 13 months, however I started as a contractor through an employment agency; I converted into permanent position 10 months ago. I feel like HR did not handle my request correctly and discriminated due to my pregnancy.

Asked on November 3, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, Arizona


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

If you were absent without authoritization, without using PTO for the absence, or without being eligible for and using FMLA leave, then you may be terminated legally; you are being terminated for an unauthorized absence, not for pregnancy, and the fact that you were pregnant does not prevent your employer from terminating you for improperly missing work. Absence from work is not an accommodation that employers must make for pregnancy--you have to use FMLA leave (or maternity leave, if your company provides it) or PTO for absences. Time spent as a contractor, unfortunately, does not count towards FMLA eligibility. d on what you have written, it appears that you may be terminated.

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