Pregnancy Discrimination

I am currently in an employment discrimination case with a Fortune 500 company. I worked for them for almost 6 years, was a vested employee, and two days after disclosing my pregnancy they terminated my employment. It was a retail company and I do have some performance evaluations, but all of my quarterly evaluations came back as 4 out of 5, so I was highly evaluated. I guess my question is, we are seeking damages for a number of things. What techically can I ask for as far as back pay and projected pay???

1 answer  |  asked Jan 13, 2007 12:57 AM [EST]  |  applies to Texas

Answers (1)

Margaret A. Harris
Recovery of Damages

If by the word "case" you mean that you are already in litigation, I strongly suggest that you have a lawyer represent you! There are too many technical issues that, if not addressed properly, could cause you to lose regardless of the facts. The maximum amount of recovery depends on the size of the employer, how many employees it has or had. The website at www.workplacefairness.org has the details, and includes a state-by-state analysis so you can get an overview of both Texas and United States laws that prohibit discrimination in employment because of pregnancy. You should know, however, that the maximum is just that -- and very few plaintiffs recover the maximum. If you are trying to determine the "value" of your case for settlement purposes, you really should speak with an experienced lawyer in your area, or you may have to go to Dallas or Fort Worth. There are many things that affect the "value" of someone's case, such as witnesses, timing (you have a good fact on this front), and also figuring out what the employer will give as its reason and the likelihood of success. You may be able to find a lawyer in your part of the state by going to the website of the Texas Employment Lawyers Association. I regret I do not have that website address memorized, but it might be www.telaonline.net. If that address is wrong, just google the name of the organization.

And, good luck. There has been increased incidents of employers not wanting to deal with having an employee who is pregnant, knowing that they will have to miss several weeks of work, and who are perhaps entitled to as many as twelve weeks time off. And some employers just automatically think that, after they've protected a job for the pregnant employee's return, the woman will change her mind and not return. While that can and does happen with some employees, it is not legal to assume that it will happen with each pregnant employee. I mean really! It should not come as a surprise that not all pregnant women think alike. Duh. But, there are some decision makers who seem to think so.

Good luck to you!

posted by Margaret A. Harris  |  Jan 13, 2007 10:07 AM [EST]

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