Is it legal if I’m 6 months pregnant and my job has demoted me to a different position with less pay?

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Is it legal if I’m 6 months pregnant and my job has demoted me to a different position with less pay?

Why they would do this? What are my steps if this is illegal?

Asked on May 15, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Colorado

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

It may be legal, or it may not be--it depends on the exact circumstances.

It would be legal if 1) it is due to some issue unconnected with pregnancy, such as poor performance on your part or a restructuring on the company's part; or if 2) it is related to some limitation or restriction on your work-related performance resulting from pregnancy--for example, you cannot safely do your old job while pregnant, in which case the company is not obligated to employ you in or pay you for a job which you can't do.

It is illegal however if there is no legitimate grounds (e.g. poor performance, work restrictions, restructuring) for the action, but instead it represents discrimination against you because you are pregnant. It is illegal to discriminate in employment against women becaue they are pregnant.

If you believe it is illegal pregnancy-related discrimination, you could either contact your state equal rights commission or agency (try contacting the department of labor if you're having trouble finding the right agency--the DOL should be able to direct you), or you could retain an attorney to bring an employment discrimination lawsuit. Good luck.


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