Pregnant and dismissed because of need for light duty work

I am 4 months pregnant and due to some pregnancy complications, my physician wrote a note to my employer requesting "light duty". I work as a nursing assistant in a children's hopital that has granted light duty work to other pregnant women or injured employees. I only verbally relayed the light duty request to my employer who assured me that she would comply to the request. After my first shift of light duty ended, I was contacted at home and informed that I was being "taken off the schedule" until the light duty order was lifted by my physician. I was told that I would not be "useful" as a light duty employee and secondly, they did not have light duty work available. I have the original doctor's note that substantiates my request and my employer has only recently asked for a copy which I have not yet provided because of their refusal to give me a written statement explaining my dismissal. Is it legal to "temporarily dismiss" me on the basis of my VERBAL request for light duty? Is this discrimination on the basis of pregnancy? Thank you for any and all information you can provide.
Alisha Collier

1 answer  |  asked Jul 30, 2004 12:12 PM [EST]  |  applies to Florida

Answers (1)

Bonnie Riggens
Pregnant and dismissed

The key to whether your dismissal is illegal is whether your employer had allowed others to work on light duty to other employees which have needed it who do substantially the same type of work. You may have a pregnancy discrimination claim and you may also have a Family and Medical Leave Act claim. Seek a consultation with an employment attorney immediately. And, make sure to apply for unemployment compensation as soon as possible.

posted by Bonnie Riggens  |  Jul 30, 2004 4:49 PM [EST]

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