Pregnancy is an exciting time for Arizona residents who are eager to start a family. Babies are costly, however, and it is often necessary for pregnant women to work as long as possible so they can save up for formula, diapers, childcare and other expenses.
It can be devastating for a woman to suddenly lose her job – likely her sole source of income – while pregnant. When this happens, what recourse does a woman have, if any? Can she file an employment dispute in court?
It’s important to understand that pregnancy does not always provide women with protection against job loss. While they should not face discrimination because they are pregnant, they can still legally be laid off or fired for a valid reason.
For example, if the company is losing money and needs to reduce its workforce in order to save money, then it is possible for a pregnant woman to be laid off if her job is no longer necessary. She would not successfully win a lawsuit in this case.
Along the same lines, if a pregnant woman refuses to perform her work duties as outlined or has behavioral issues that have resulted in disciplinary action, then the company may have the legal right to terminate her employment, whether or not she is pregnant.
Basically, pregnancy is considered a temporary disability for legal purposes and pregnant women should be treated the same as those employees who take off work to recover from an injury or medical condition. This means that they should be offered alternate tasks, disability leave or unpaid leave if they cannot perform their usual tasks.
The main rule to remember is that a woman cannot be terminated from her position simply because she is pregnant. It is illegal to do so and that would be considered wrongful discharge.
Call Cook & Price, PLC today at 480-407-4440 or email us through this website.