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My hours are being cut Utah

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  • My hours are being cut Utah

    All of these events have happened within the past 4 weeks. I disclosed my pregnancy early to my employer due to job related risks (such as no longer being able to take xrays). Shortly afterwards, a new male employee was hired. At the next staff meeting (just a week or two later), one of the company's owners updated us on the hiring situation since we have one more staff position to fill. The owner said they had received an applicant, a woman, but would not consider her (even though she had far mar experience then the man they had just hired), then went on to say they will only consider male candidates because they have found that female staff call in sick to care for their ill children. Yes, this was said in a staff meeting! To my surprise, the next time I came into work, some of my shifts had been given to this new male employee. I was told that he had been hired to work full time (I am only part time) and in order to give him the hours he needed I would have to give up these shifts.

    The next week, one of my supervisors was being verbally abusive (this happens often- and started long before my pregnancy) and it escalated to the point of me walking out (which I have never done before). This supervisor has received many complaints from other staff and even clients, but for whatever reason, they refuse to fire this individual. I immediately called one of the owner's to explain what had happened and I requested to be removed from future shifts with this supervisor since these situations keep occurring and I no longer feel comfortable working under this supervisor's direction. Even though I am being very flexible on what shifts I could switch to, my request is being denied. The owner went as far as to mock me in front of other staff and tell me I was being childish. I was told that my shift schedule would remain exactly the same, and if I didn't want to work with this supervisor, that would leave me with 2-3 shifts a month (not enough to even make it worth keeping this job). In the past, I know of at least one other employee (a non-pregnant female) who has made the exact same request and they accommodated her schedule to prevent her from working with a supervisor that was treating her poorly.

    Seeing how they met the same request for a non-pregnant employee, but deny mine, along with the staff meeting in which they clearly demonstrated sex discrimination, does this seem like pregnancy discrimination? This company currently has 14 employees, (15 on the payroll if you count a temp that fills in now and then). Am I able to file a claim even though this is such a small company? Can a claim be filed even though I have not been terminated and have only had my hours cut? If I quit at this point will I not be able to file a claim?
    Thank you

  • #2
    Your employer is not obligated to accommodate your request to not work with a certain manager. Whether they have done so in the past is irrelevant. There are times it is in the best interest of the employer to keep employees apart and other times when it is not. This is their call to make. Employees do not get to choose their managers. It doesn't work that way.

    While the comment in the meeting is straight from the dark ages, until it affects you, you do not have a cause of action. In other words, you can't sue because your employer made a stupid sexist comment. You could if they refused to hire you because of outdated stereotypes about women.

    If you aren't able to perform part of your job, then it is legal and a legitimate reason to have another employee covering more than you do. Same for scheduling FT employees for more hours than PT ones. That you may have worked more hours when they were understaffed by 2 doesn't mean you are somehow entitled to more hours now that they have hired more staff.

    Poor management isn't covered by law either. You can't make them get rid of the difficult supervisor.

    Federal protection for pregnancy discrimination offers protection for those with at least 15 employees. What has adverse action has been taken against you because you are pregnant? It isn't clear from your post.
    I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

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    • #3
      State law (Utah) also protects employees who work for employers who employ 15 or more employees within the state for each working day in each of 20 calendar weeks or more in the current or preceding calendar year.
      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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      • #4
        Federal law uses the same 15 employees during 20 or more weeks the previous year rule.
        I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

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        • #5
          Thank you for giving me another perspective on the issue. I can now confirm two employees (non-pregnant females) within the last year who have refused to work with certain supervisors and have had their schedules changed to meet their request. Or another way I can put it, is any employee who has made this request in the past has not had their request denied. Because the EEOC's basic outline says, "The Pregnancy Discrimination Act forbids discrimination based on pregnancy when it comes to any aspect of employment, including... job assignments" I thought this would fit into that category. I understand that employers are not required to change your schedule just because you don't like a certain supervisor and that there is nothing illegal about my supervisor being verbally abusive, but the fact that they have accommodated non-pregnant employees but will not accommodate my same request is what is raising flags for me. Perhaps I am wrong, which is why it is nice to hear other opinions on the matter.

          After thinking about it, I believe we do have 16 employees on payroll (forgot to include their accounts manager). But there may be more depending on how you factor it. My specific place of employment is owned by three individuals. These three individuals have their own, full-time practices, then got together to create and manage my place of employment. If the employees of these three separate practices could be applied, there would be between 30-50 employees.

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          • #6
            It would be illegal to assign you to certain jobs or refuse to allow you to work in a certain capacity for which you were qualified and trained because you are pregnant. There is still no obligation to ever accommodate an employee's preference not to work with a certain supervisor or in a certain department though. Since you indicate these problems existed well before your pregnancy, it would tend to indicate that your pregnancy has nothing to do with it. There can be any number of reasons why an employee request for transfer might be granted. In some cases that may even be legally the best option. Most often it is what is in the best interest of the employer. I have no idea why they won't transfer you and why they did transfer two other but even if you can tie it to your pregnancy, it is still iffy as far as being something legally actionable. If this is a long standing issue with you two and you have managed to work together thus far, your pregnancy doesn't obligate them to change your schedule so as to avoid this person now.

            Your pregnancy would have to be the reason for any disparate treatment. Most employees are not pregnant at any given time so it takes more than the fact that they were not and you are to have a case. Why do you believe your pregnancy has anything to do with your treatment at work?
            I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by ElleMD View Post
              Your pregnancy would have to be the reason for any disparate treatment. Most employees are not pregnant at any given time so it takes more than the fact that they were not and you are to have a case. Why do you believe your pregnancy has anything to do with your treatment at work?
              I feel that they may be denying my request primarily because I am pregnant due to what was said at the staff meeting. Shortly after announcing my pregnancy, they said they will no longer hire women because women have children (get pregnant) and call in sick to care for their ill kids. This makes me think that they are denying my request because they do want any pregnant employees (which is what was basically said at the staff meeting) and would rather cut my shifts down to nothing, forcing me to quit.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by ElleMD View Post
                Federal law uses the same 15 employees during 20 or more weeks the previous year rule.

                Yes, it does. 15 or more employees for each working day in each of twenty or more calendar weeks in the current or preceding calendar year.
                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.

                Comment


                • #9
                  It sounds like they are cutting your shifts because they hired a FT person. Originally you didn't mention any comments about pregnancy, just that they didn't hire a certain woman because they feared she would be off with her kids too much. That isn't the same as discriminating against you for being pregnant. The woman they didn't hire may have a case. No law is going to require your employer to change your supervisor. You admit you know this yet you seem to think being pregnant changes that somehow. It does not. Pregnancy does not afford you any additional perks, accommodations or requests you did not have before getting pregnant.
                  I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by ElleMD View Post
                    . just that they didn't hire a certain woman because they feared she would be off with her kids too much. .
                    You also dont know what this woman said in her interview or other interactions with the company. I know of people coming to interviews and specifically ask how much time they could take off because they had kids. They often didnt ask much (or anything) about the job itself. They generally didnt get hired NOT because they had children but because the time off seemed more important to them than the job.
                    I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have.
                    Thomas Jefferson

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