What can we do if my girlfriend was fired after announcing her pregnancy?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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What can we do if my girlfriend was fired after announcing her pregnancy?

My pregnant girlfriend just started a new retail job after being out of work for a year. She has been there for 2 weeks and revealed to her boss that she is pregnant. She then received a call 2 days later saying she was terminated, claiming there is not enough work despite it being so close to Easter. We do not know what to do.

Asked on March 19, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Illinois


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

It is illegal to fire a woman because she is pregnant; that can be both or either of illegal gender-based discrimination or illegal disability-based discrimination (pregnancy may be considered a temporary disability for this purpose). While it  is *possible* that the store is telling the truth about the workload and, if they are, it would make sense to let go the recent hire, the timing is very suspicious. Contact the federal EEOC or your state's equal/civil rights agency to file a complaint; let the store show their reason was valid, and not a pretext for illegal discrimination.

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