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Pregnant teacher files wrongful termination claim

Most California employers understand they cannot fire someone just because the person is male or female. However, what some apparently do not realize is that firing someone because she is pregnant is included in the law protecting workers from sex discrimination. The supervisors of a nonprofit daycare center in another state may have realized quickly that a pregnant worker was protected by law, but they did not help their situation by continuing to harass her because of her condition.

As the law allows, the woman did not disclose her condition when she interviewed for the full-time teacher aid job after working there as a counselor the summer before. Already five months pregnant, she waited a month before inquiring about the policies for maternity leave. Her supervisor responded by informing the woman she never would have been hired if she had disclosed her pregnancy at her interview. The next day, the teacher was terminated.

The supervisors soon learned what they had done was illegal, so they recalled the teacher to work. However, the woman claims she was harassed daily about her pregnancy, accused of lying by exercising her right to refrain from mentioning her condition at her interview and reminded that she never would have gotten the job if she had told the truth. The teacher recorded some of these conversations.

Managers at the daycare center defend their actions, saying that budget cuts required them to fire the newest hires, and that the teacher was still on probation when she requested leave. Nevertheless, the law forbids employees from refusing to hire a pregnant candidate because of her condition, harassing pregnant workers or firing a woman just because she is expecting. California employees experiencing this kind of wrongful termination have every right to seek legal counsel to explore their options for compensation.

Source: dnainfo.com, "Teacher Aide Fired From Brooklyn Day Care for Being Pregnant, Lawsuit Says", Gwynne Hogan, July 20, 2017

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