Can you be legally terminated from your job after telling them that you are expecting a child?

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Can you be legally terminated from your job after telling them that you are expecting a child?

I have recently told my employer that I was expecting a baby this October. Several days later it seems a position for our store was posted in an online job search and now there is a sign on our door that we are hiring. Our store only contains four people and we are not meeting goals as it is, so an extra person is not needed. My boss sat us all down and explained somebody was being let go very soon. I believe that person is me. I have no paper trail for doing anything wrong and we are all performing about the same. Can they let me go legally without me having done anything wrong?

Asked on April 30, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Under federal law, a woman may not be discriminated against in employment for being pregnant. This does not mean that a pregnant woman cannot be fired for unrelated reasons--for example, poor performance; insubordination; being the least experienced or senior staff member in the event of a restructuring or downsizing; etc.--just that she cannot be fired (or otherwise discriminated against in employment) simply because she is pregnant. If you are terminated and do not believe there is a plausible, non-pregnancy-related reason, you may have a legal claim and should consult with an employment law attorney to discuss the matter in greater detail.


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