PREGNANCY DISCRIMINATION ATTORNEY IN STAFFORD, TEXAS
A WORD FROM A CLIENT WHO FACED PREGNANCY DISCRIMINATION
Mr. Parzivand, you were a blessing to me and my husband. We can now put all of our energy, love and time into preparing to welcome our son in January 2015. My grandmother always says “God will bless you when you least expect.” This is such a true and heartfelt statement. Your human resource experience and the fact that you are an attorney were a win-win for me. You were just the person I needed to speak on my behalf.
I want others to know how important it is to stand up and get help if they are being discriminated against by their employer. As I have learned, some attorneys, like you are dedicated to helping your clients even if the outcome may not be what is expected. The time, energy and calls that you made just to check on me and “keep me calm” are all priceless."
LAWS THAT PROTECT YOU FROM PREGNANCY DISCRIMINATION
There are several laws that can protect pregnant women from discrimination.
THE PREGNANCY DISCRIMINATION ACT
The primary act that protects pregnant women from being discriminated against based on pregnancy is the Pregnancy Discrimination Act under Federal law and the Texas Commission on Human Rights Act under state law. Just as discriminating against a person based on race is prohibited, these acts protect people from being discriminated against based on the fact that they are pregnant. Employers have to also offer the same amount of leave to a pregnant person as they would to a non-pregnant person under the law.
THE FAMILY MEDICAL LEAVE ACT (FMLA)
For women who work for larger employers who have 50 or more employees within 75 miles of their worksite, there is a right to up to twelve weeks of unpaid pregnancy leave under the Family Medical Leave Act. During this time period, your employer should allow you to use any paid vacation that you have accrued if you wish to do so. The Family Medical Leave Act prevents an employer from replacing a pregnant individual with another worker while they are on leave during their pregnancy. However, it does not provide absolute protection. For example, if an employer does a lay off during the time an employee is absent due to pregnancy, that layoff if not targeted at the individual because of their pregnancy or FMLA leave could be a legitimate layoff that is not actionable under the FMLA.
Actual Fact Pattern of Case Under the FMLA and Pregnancy Discrimination Act: Employee told management she was pregnant and was put on a Performance Improvement Plan within 15 days of informing the employer she was pregnant. The employee was then terminated. Employee hired the firm and a satisfactory confidential settlement was reached in the case.
THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT (ADA)
When pregnant women work for employers with 15 or more employees and need accommodations to perform their jobs, they may ask for a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The ADA allows for reasonable accommodations to be granted if those accommodations are not an undue hardship to the employer. Whether an accommodation is available under the ADA is a fact specific inquiry which depends on the nature of your job and how you can be accommodated.
Actual Fact Pattern of Case: Employee was a nurse who was given a lifting restriction by her doctor during the course of her pregnancy. Her job rarely required lifting and that lifting could be performed by other employees who were present and able to assist her. Employee was terminated from her employment. The firm was hired to rectify this situation and correspondence was sent to the employer seeking a proper reasonable accommodation and reinstatement. Employee was reinstated to her position with full back pay. A high level officer of the company even made a point of personally apologizing to her for what transpired on her first day back at work.
SIGNS YOU MAY BE A VICTIM OF PREGNANCY DISCRIMINATION
You were recently promoted or received a good performance review, but the attitude of your employer changed dramatically shortly after you announced you were pregnant.
The employer reduces your job responsibilities or excludes you from meetings relevant to your job because they don’t think you can handle the work.
Your boss refuses to engage in dialog with you on your leave time for pregnancy or pressures you to shorten your leave time.
You are suddenly put on a performance plan or terminated without warning shortly after announcing you are pregnant
PERSONAL NOTE REGARDING PREGNANCY DISCRIMINATION FROM HESSAM PARZIVAND
“Pregnancy discrimination is one of the ugliest forms of discrimination I have ever encountered in my work. Having a baby is supposed to be a happy occasion for a family, but it also such a financially vulnerable time period for the average family. Terminating a pregnant woman from her job hurts her family when they are most vulnerable. I take pride in taking pregnancy discrimination cases and winning justice for my clients in these matters.”