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Pregnant employees may be vulnerable during job transfers

| Jun 7, 2019 | Firm News |

One of the main reasons that so many pregnancy discrimination lawsuits happen is because the employers lack flexibility for major changes in a worker’s personal life. It is understandable why it can be difficult for them to adapt to these major alterations at work, but simply firing the employee for being pregnant is never the right solution.

However, there are some instances where more than one change occurs at the same time as the pregnancy. Some expecting workers may end up on the verge of getting promoted or transferring to a new location, placing them in an even more vulnerable position. These employees should be aware that some employers may use this transitional period as an opportunity to get rid of them.

False promises

An example can be recently seen in a lawsuit against two restaurants in California and New York that belong to the same celebrity chef. A head waitress at the New York restaurant worked there for five years before deciding to transfer to the California restaurant in early 2016.

Though the employer at the California restaurant appeared to warmly accept her at first, his tone changed after learning she was pregnant. There are emails he made to HR cited in the case that reveal he initially did not know with how to proceed with her.

When the worker moved to California months later to discuss her pregnancy with the employer, the employer then claimed that they never intended to hire her. Prior to this, the New York restaurant requested her resignation as part of the transfer process. This meant she had no health insurance and could not see doctors for check-ups during the first trimester.

A tough transition

Job transfers for pregnant employees are very common. While they may not be as dramatic as crossing the entire nation, many expecting workers that have very physically demanding jobs often request different positions within the company during their pregnancy to avoid serious medical issues.

These workers should aim for clear communication with their employers during this process to ensure that the transfer goes smoothly. If it doesn’t, then they can use their attempts as potential evidence in a lawsuit. Workers that face pregnancy discrimination should consult with an employment law attorney so they can receive compensation for this difficult period in their lives.