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32 weeks pregnant-fired-Texas

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  • 32 weeks pregnant-fired-Texas

    My wife just lost her job yesterday morning.

    They told her it was a result of her "bad attitude", which is really hysterical as my wife is one of the most laid back people I know.

    They told her that they had discussed her attitude with her and she has not improved. This alleged conversation regarding her attitude took place at 6pm on a Thursday night. She was fired on Monday.

    The company that she works for doesn't have 50 employees but it is a wholly owned subsidiary of a company with hundreds of employees. I am also under the impression that there is a separate clause in Texas that provides protection to pregnant women in companies of 15 or more people.

    She has documented many instances where her direct boss and the CEO of the company have shown disapproval when she has said that she was planning on taking 12 weeks of maternity leave. They have also on several occasions tried to talk her out of it or try to talk her into shortening or altering her leave.

    We are of the belief that she was fired because they thought she might not come back from her leave. I am also of the belief that under FMLA that is none of their business. Does it sound like we might have a wrongful termination case?
    Last edited by zeek; 08-11-2009, 07:48 PM.

  • #2
    FMLA requires the employer to have 50 or more employees within a 75 mile radius of where she works along with other requirements that must be met. (worked for the co. at least 12 mos. & worked for employer 1250 hrs. immediately preceding the leave) Were these requirements met? If she did qualify for FMLA, she couldn't be fired for requesting/taking FMLA leave. However, she could be terminated/fired for another reason if she would have been terminated anyway had she not requested FMLA. FMLA complaints are filed with the US DOL.

    If the employer has 15 or more employees, pregnancy discrimination laws apply. She can't be discriminated against due to her pregnancy. (fired due to her pregnancy for example). However, it is legal to terminate/fire a pregnant employee if they would have been fired anyway had they not been pregnant. It's legal to terminate a pregnant employee for a "bad attitude" but it is not legal to terminate an employee just because they are pregnant.

    If your wife believes she was discriminated against & terminated just because of her pregnancy, she can file a complaint with the EEOC or the Texas Commission on Human Rights.
    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

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    • #3
      Additionally, it is their business if she is not coming back from leave, even under FMLA.

      No law in any state prohibits the firing of a pregnant woman, regardless of the number of employees. She cannot be fired BECAUSE she is pregnant, but she is not immune from firing for other reasons just because she is pregnant.
      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.

      Comment

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