When you find out that you are pregnant, it can be a very exciting and joyful time for you and your partner. Your excitement should not be dimmed with worries about how your employer will react. With few exceptions, Missouri employers with 15 or more workers cannot legally penalize, directly or indirectly, a worker because she became pregnant. There are situations where a worker’s responsibilities may change, but the change cannot be a punishment in disguise.
If you were fired in the state of Missouri after announcing your pregnancy to your employer, you may be able to make a legal claim against them. The law can be complex in this area, especially because it can be difficult to establish the true motives behind your firing. It is important to conduct thorough research into your particular situation so that you can understand and assert your rights.
The right to be treated equally
The Pregnancy Discrimination Act states that all pregnant women in the workplace, or women who are rightly or wrongly perceived to be pregnant or are thought likely to become pregnant in the future, have the right to be treated just like any other employee. If you were fired as a pregnant woman when none of your coworkers were fired, and there was no documented reason to believe that you should be fired, you may be able to make a claim.
It is a good idea to consider how your other coworkers were treated in certain situations versus how you were treated. For example, if you asked for certain accommodations to be made as a result of becoming pregnant, it is a good idea to question whether a non-pregnant employee would have been treated in the same way that you were.
Make sure that you act quickly after being fired during your pregnancy. If there was a reason given for why you were fired, it is important to seriously question the legitimacy of this reasoning, and consider whether evidence of discrimination may be present.