Pregnancy discrimination in the workplace can take numerous forms. For example, maybe you recently left a job because, upon becoming pregnant, you felt your employer began treating you in a manner that made you feel you needed to resign.
Employees who are forced to resign because their employers are discriminating against them often have legal options. A wrongful termination lawyer could help you better understand how you might hold your employer accountable if you were forced to resign due to a pregnancy.
What is Forced Resignation?
Forced resignation can take several forms. Examples include:
- An employer telling an employee that must resign or they will fire them
- An employer telling an employee they will demote them if they don’t resign
- An employer creating an uncomfortable work environment in which an employee feels they must quit
Some employees are forced to resign for reasons that ultimately benefit them. Maybe an employee isn’t a good fit for the company, but their employer knows that terminating them could negatively impact their ability to find work elsewhere. An employer in these circumstances might pressure an employee to resign instead.
However, some employers try to avoid wrongful termination claims by pressuring employees to resign so they don’t have to fire them.
Anyone who has experienced this should know that forced resignation still qualifies as wrongful termination if an employer’s reasons for pressuring an employee to resign were illegal.
What is Pregnancy Discrimination?
Pregnancy discrimination in the workplace refers to treating an employee unfairly because they are pregnant or have a pregnancy-related condition. Forced resignation is one potential way in which pregnancy discrimination can manifest.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) prohibit pregnancy discrimination. The PDA requires that employers treat pregnant employees the same as non-pregnant employees who are similar in their ability or inability to work. Unfortunately, this hasn’t stopped all employers from treating pregnant employees unfavorably.
What To Do If You’re Forced To Resign As A Pregnant Employee
Did you recently leave a job while pregnant because you felt your employer was pressuring you to? Or, are you currently pregnant, and now feel you’re being forced to resign?
If so, you can file a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for wrongful termination. It’s wise to gather evidence to prove you were fired because you are pregnant before doing so. Steps you can take to gather evidence include:
- Keeping a detailed log in which you list the dates when you experienced any form of mistreatment potentially due to your pregnancy, along with a description of the experience and who was involved
- Listing the names and contact information of witnesses
- Gathering documentation that may be relevant to your case, such as emails, chat logs, performance reviews, etc.
Be aware that proving you were forced to resign due to being pregnant can be challenging. Thus, it’s smart to enlist the help of a wrongful termination attorney who can potentially help you build the strongest possible case.
Get Help With Your Forced Resignation Claim
Workers in the U.S. file approximately 5,300 pregnancy discrimination charges every year. It’s clear that pregnancy discrimination continues to occur across numerous industries.
You may have been the target of such discrimination if an employer forced you to resign when you became pregnant. If this has happened, a lawyer may help you seek justice through an EEOC claim.
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