Can my employer cut back my hours becasue I am pregnant?

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Can my employer cut back my hours becasue I am pregnant?

The company I work for cut my hours down to 8 a week. When I asked for more hours, I was told that they won’t give me hours because I’m to pregnant. However, I do not perfom my job any differently and am fully able to work. There are cameras at my job to prove this. I have not asked for any special treatment at my job due to my pregnancy. I did ask to not work graveyard because I work in a very dangerous location but that has to do with safety not pregnancy. What do I do?

Asked on December 18, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Washington

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

No, they may not cut your hours because you are pregnant: doing so would be considered illegal sex-based discrimination (since only women get pregnant, treating you different because you are a woman). If your performance at work had suffered, or there was medical advice that you work less while pregnant (e.g. from your doctor), or the job is particularly risky for a pregnant woman (e.g. X-ray technician), it would be a different story, but that is not the situation you describe: in this case, it appears that they are treating you differently just because you are pregnant, and not for safety or performance-based reasons. You therefore may have an illegal discrimination claim, and should contact the federal EEOC to explore it.


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