Attorney for Pregnancy Discrimination Cases in Missouri
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All employees are protected under law from discrimination in any form, including harassment, sexual or inappropriate comments, teasing, and anything that may create a hostile and offensive work environment or space, particularly if such discrimination is related to your pregnancy status.
Pregnancy discrimination might involve treating someone who is an applicant or employee unfavorably due to:
- A medical condition related to pregnancy or childbirth
Pregnancy anti-discrimination laws apply to any employer, supervisor, or fellow employee. If you've been discriminated against due to pregnancy in Missouri or Illinois, you have the right to take legal action against the perpetrator. Do not hesitate to contact an experienced discrimination lawyer from our firm to fight for the compensation you deserve.
Examples of Pregnancy Discrimination in the Workplace
Some ways an employer might discriminate against you due to your pregnancy could be:
- firing or refusing to hire you;
- harassing you;
- not providing reasonable accommodations;
- firing or discriminating for pumping breast milk;
- forcing you to take time off or change jobs;
- restricting pregnancy-related medical leave; and
- retaliating against you for complaining of pregnancy discrimination.
Be especially aware that even if your employer frames their behavior as a move in your best interest, they do not have the authority to demote or fire you for your pregnancy status. For example, if a job necessitates lifting heavy objects, your safety is ultimately up to you and your physician to decide, not your employer.
Further, frequent and pervasive conduct on the topic of your pregnancy, such as unwelcome and offensive jokes, insults, physical threats, and intimidation, are unlawful in the workplace when they interfere with your work performance and create a hostile working environment.
Your Employment Rights During and After Pregnancy
A pregnant employee who takes leave should be treated the same way as any other employee seeking leave. In situations where an employee is temporarily disabled and unable to perform their work due to their pregnancy, the employer must treat them the same as they would treat any other temporarily disabled employee.
For example, the employer may be required to provide modified tasks, alternative assignments, disability leave, or unpaid leave to a pregnant employee. Likewise, if an employer provides personal leave for other reasons, such as to take courses or other training or to attend to personal affairs, then the employer must grant personal leave to the same extent for care of a new child.
Additionally, employers may not dictate to an employee who has given birth how long they must stay on leave before returning to work. If they are physically capable of performing their job and are willing to return from leave, an employer may not prohibit that decision to return.
Take Legal Action Against Pregnancy Discrimination in St. Louis
Certain pregnant employees who work for a covered employer may have additional rights under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Under the FMLA, eligible employees are entitled to 12 weeks of maternity or paternity leave relating to the birth, adoption, or foster care of a child. Note that to be eligible, the employee must have worked for the employer for 12 months prior to taking the leave, and the employer must have a specified number of employees (50 employees within a 75-mile radius).
The FMLA establishes that an employee who has gone on maternity leave must return to the same salary and benefits as before, as well as the same working conditions. So, your employer is legally required to preserve your position and benefits the same way they would preserve them for an individual on sick or disability leave.
If you feel that you have unfairly lost employment-related opportunities and benefits due to your pregnancy, contact an experienced discrimination lawyer at Riggan Law Firm, LLC immediately. You are entitled to appropriate compensation for any damages you have incurred. Our firm can help defend your rights to employment, both during and after pregnancy, and fight against unfair discrimination practices related to your pregnancy status.
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