Virginia Termination While Pregnant or on Maternity Leave Lawyer
You should not be mistreated at work or terminated because you have chosen to have a family. There are federal and state laws in Virginia that prohibit your employer from terminating your employment because you are having a baby or taking time off work to care for a newborn.
With the help of a Virginia termination while pregnant or on maternity leave lawyer, you may be able to have your job reinstated or receive compensation for the discrimination you experienced. A dedicated wrongful termination attorney could stand up for the rights of new and expecting mothers in the workforce.
The Pregnancy Discrimination Act
The enactment of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act (Title VII) provides women and minorities with protections against discrimination in the workplace. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) amended Title VII to prohibit discrimination specifically based on pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition in addition to sex-based discrimination.
Discrimination against pregnant workers is prohibited in all aspects of employment, including in termination. Since pregnancy and childbirth are issues that generally impact women, sex discrimination is often linked to discrimination cases involving the termination of a pregnant employee or an employee on maternity leave. A termination while pregnant or on maternity leave lawyer in Virginia could explain how pregnancy discrimination laws could impact your termination case.
Federally Mandated Maternity Leave
While many employers have their own internal maternity leave policies, there are certain laws that employers are required to follow regardless of their own policies. Under federal law, most employees are entitled to 12 weeks of unpaid leave to give birth or care for a newborn child.
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) authorizes this leave of absence for qualified employees. Employees who take maternity leave under the FMLA should be given the same or a comparable role when they return from leave. It is unlawful for employers to terminate an employee in response to taking permissible FMLA leave. If an employer is retaliating against you for your pregnancy or maternity leave, speak with a Virginia termination attorney for legal support and guidance.
Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Americans with Disabilities Act
Pregnancy and childbirth can lead to unexpected, temporary disabilities. For example, preeclampsia and gestational diabetes are some conditions that can lead to additional issues or disabilities. Discrimination against employees with disabilities is prohibited by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Under this act, it is illegal for employers to terminate employees merely because they are pregnant.
Pregnant workers must be permitted to work as long as they can do so. Also, they should be treated the same as other employees with disabilities who are temporarily unable to perform their job duties. If a pregnant employee needs to take time off to recover from a medical condition related to pregnancy, they should also be treated the same as other employers on sick or disability leave.
Virginia State Law Protections
Some states including Virginia have enacted laws that give additional protections against discrimination on the state level. The Virginia Human Rights Act (VHRA) provides new and expecting mothers with protections on the state level that are comparable to those covered in federal anti-discrimination statutes.
Employers with six to 14 employees are generally covered by the VHRA. This offers employees at smaller companies the opportunity to bring forth claims that may not be viable under federal discrimination laws, which usually require an employer to have a minimum of 15 employees.
How a Virginia Termination while Pregnant or on Maternity Leave Attorney Could Help
If you are pregnant or taking maternity leave, you have strong protections under the law. Our team of knowledgeable Virginia termination while pregnant or on maternity leave lawyers are committed to combating discrimination against new and expecting mothers. If you suspect that your employer’s motivations for your termination were related to pregnancy or childbirth, call to learn your rights. Contact us to schedule a consultation today.