What can we do if my wife is 7 months pregnant and she was terminated just as her pregnancy benefits were about to start?

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What can we do if my wife is 7 months pregnant and she was terminated just as her pregnancy benefits were about to start?

She has been doing a great job for well over 3 years in her company. Her results have always been celebrated and set as an example to the rest of the sales team. She works remotely from home for an out if state company. We relocated due to my job over 1 year ago, and her company not only accepted the relocation, but renamed her position to be “remotely based”.
However, today, she was informed that she was terminated due to “business reasons” and her position had been eliminated. Her benefits due to pregnancy were scheduled to start in October. No real reason provided. What to do?

Asked on September 4, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, Tennessee

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

The question is, was she terminated in retaliation for using pregnancy-related benefits or otherwise because she is pregant, which is against the law, or was she terminated due to valid, neutral or independent business reasons, such as a company financial set-back, restructuring, or strategic shift, which is legal--companies are permitted to manage themselves and make changes which negatively affect protected employees as long as the changes are for valid business reasons.
Clearly, you suspect improper motives. What you can do to further explore the issue and see if your wife is entitled to compensation, which she may be, is to either or both of
1 File a complaint with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission EEOC or your state's equal/civil rights agency or
2 Retain an employment lawyer to look into filing an employment discrimination law suit.
Ultimately, you  can't sue and have a complaint, but you may file the complaint initially while speaking/consulting with a lawyer, then decide which avenue to pursue.


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