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Thread: can they fire me? Ohio

  1. #1
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    Default can they fire me? Ohio

    I have worked part time for a retail company for almost three years. I have just been hired in as a full time associate. Under my company's policy, I am not eligible for FMLA untill I've worked 1,250 hours in the last 12 months. I am currently at 760 hours. I plan on telling them I am pregnant but concerned they will fire me. Are they able to fire me since I did know I was pregnant when I accepted the job or am I protected by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act?

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    Fine line here. They cannot fire you BECAUSE you are pregnant. But if a similarly situated employee who was not eligible for FMLA and who needed extended time off for back surgery, pneumonia, a broken leg, or some other non-maternity medical reason would be fired, then so can you be. The PDA protects you from being fired SOLELY because you are pregnant and for no other reason. It does not protect you from being fired for extended absences if people with non-maternity extended absences are also fired.

    BTW, eligibility for FMLA is set by Federal law, not by company policy. The criteria are four; (1) that the employer have more than 50 employees within 75 miles of your location; (2) that you have worked for the employer no less than 12 months; (3) that in the 12 months immediately preceding your leave you have worked no less than 1,250 hours and (4) that you or a qualified beneficiary/dependent have a serious health condition as defined by the statute. If even one of the four criteria is not met, FMLA does not apply by law.
    The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

  3. #3
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    Have you taken the time to read about the Pregnancy Discrimination Act?

    Here is a pretty basic break down:

    http://www.eeoc.gov/facts/fs-preg.html

    The answer to your question is likely: maybe. It depends a lot on how they trat other employees who have had temporary disabilities.
    Not everything in America is actionable in a court of law. Please remember that attorneys are in business for profit, and they get paid regardless of whether or not you win or lose.

    I offer my knowledge and experience at no charge, I admit that I am NOT infallible, I am wrong sometimes, hopefully another responder will correct me if that is the case with the answer above, regardless, it is your responsibility to verify any and all information provided.

  4. #4
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    I guess I'm still confussed......can they fire me solely because I'm pregnant and accepted the job knowing I was pregnant?

    I know it will be unpaid leave, and my plan as long as everything goes well is to only take 4 weeks off

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    You can't be fired just because you're pregnant but you can be fired if they
    would have fired you had you not been pregnant. You can't be discriminated
    against because you're pregnant but you get no special treatment.

    If FMLA doesn't apply, you get off however much time your employer would
    give another employee who didn't qualify for FMLA but needed time off for a
    disability other than pregnancy (ie broken leg). If another employee would
    be fired for needing extended time off, they can also fire you.
    Last edited by Betty3; 09-29-2011 at 07:23 PM.
    Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

    Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

  6. #6
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    Cadgirl is pregnant - let's fire her. Illegal.

    Cadgirl is going to need eight weeks off in her first year. When Sam needed eight weeks off in his first year for back surgery we fired him. When Sally needed eight weeks off in her first year for pneumonia we fired her. When Jack broke his leg in his first year and needed eight weeks off we fired him. Let's fire Cadgirl too. Legal.

    It has nothing whatsoever to do with whether you did or did not know you were pregnant when you accepted the job. The answer would be exactly the same either way. It is illegal to fire you for no reason other than that you are pregnant. It is legal to fire you because of extended absences IF people who need extended absences for reasons other than pregnancy are also fired.
    The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

  7. #7
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    I guess I'm still confussed......can they fire me solely because I'm pregnant and accepted the job knowing I was pregnant?

    No. You had no legal obligation to tell them you were pregnant.

    They can fire you (if they wish to) when you need to start taking time off because of your pregnancy since you're not eligible for FMLA. We can't tell you what your employer will do but you you certainly should discuss the situation with them and ask if they're willing to give you four weeks of unpaid leave. I suggest you do so before you start "showing" as talking to them now will demonstrate good faith on your part. Good luck.

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    I would add one slight modification.

    If there is a critical time for you to be on the job, and you knew you would not be able to be there at that time, then there is little difference between you, the person who was having other surgery scheduled at that time, the person who was going back to school right before that critical time and the person who was going to travel the world during that time.

    I have no idea if that is your situation, but the point is that you should not be treated differently because you are pregnant than if you (or someone else) were going to miss that time for another reason.

  9. #9
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    They cannot fire you for being pregnant.

    They can however fire you for not being able to work those four weeks. Especially if they have set the trend previously with other employees who have needed time off.

    I think the deeper rooted question here is "can they fire me because I was deceitful and didn't tell them I was going to need time off due to being pregnant?" That's different, and I don't know the exact answer. However, in most cases, you will find that employers are often able to find ways/reasons to let you go if they so desire. Some of these actions may be unjust and illegal, others may just be unjust.

    FWIW - I'm not accusing you of being deceitful...just trying to get the elephant in the room brought to everyone's attention.
    Not everything in America is actionable in a court of law. Please remember that attorneys are in business for profit, and they get paid regardless of whether or not you win or lose.

    I offer my knowledge and experience at no charge, I admit that I am NOT infallible, I am wrong sometimes, hopefully another responder will correct me if that is the case with the answer above, regardless, it is your responsibility to verify any and all information provided.

  10. #10
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    If that is indeed the question, the answer is an emphatic: NO. They cannot fire you because you did not tell them you were pregnant when you accepted the job.

    That's an absolute - no qualifications about it.
    The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

  11. #11
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    Agree/concur with cbg.
    Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

    Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

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