What to do if I have worked for a multi-million dollar restaurant for the past 3 years and am now33 weeks pregnant but no longer being scheduled shifts?

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What to do if I have worked for a multi-million dollar restaurant for the past 3 years and am now33 weeks pregnant but no longer being scheduled shifts?

The restaurant closed for remodeling this past winter for 3 months. We were not paid during the hiatus. We were asked to come back to work this past Monday. We worked around the clock Monday – Wednesday. We received “new hire” handbooks and were told to sign them stating the last three days had been volunteer. We opened the doors to the public this Thursday night. Since then I have only worked one paid shift on the floor. My gut tells me I am being discriminated against because I am now showing. I fear that as a potential “new hire” “under probation” my rights will not be protected.

Asked on April 15, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Illinois

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Whether you are a new hire or not, you may not be discriminated against in employment because you are pregnant, so long as you may in fact do the job. If other workers, who are similarly situated but for being pregnant (e.g. other workers with similar or the same jobs and similar seniority or experience) are getting paid hours but you are not, that may be illegal discrimination. If you feel this is the case, and there is no reasonable non-discriminatory reason for what's going on (for example: say there are not enough hours for everyone and you have the least experience--it may be reasonable and non-discriminatory to not give you hours), you should speak with an employment law attorney to evaluate whether you may have a legal claim for compensation. Good luck.


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