Mothers welcoming a new baby into their lives is a beautiful experience. Unfortunately, some employers attempt to take advantage of this joyous occasion by refusing certain rights and protections afforded to pregnant employees by state and federal law.

Single mothers and families alike who depend on their employers for health care are especially vulnerable to pregnancy discrimination. Many workers are often left without adequate medical treatment while pregnant because they were fired due to their pregnancy.

If you have be discriminated against at your job on the basis of your pregnancy, consider working with an experienced attorney on our team. Our St. Louis pregnancy discrimination lawyers could review your case to help you understand your rights and the legal protections you are entitled to.

Pregnancy Discrimination Laws

As an amendment to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA), as well as Missouri Revisor of Statutes §213.055, make it illegal to mistreat workers on the basis of their or their partner’s pregnancy. Firing someone, docking their pay, or denying them a promotion based on pregnancy, childbirth, maternity leave, or associated medical conditions may constitute discrimination.

Furthermore, the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which applies to employers with 50 or more employees, states that workers must be granted either paid or unpaid leave for up to 12 weeks for a newborn child’s birth and care. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) also provides that a mother to a newborn child can qualify for specific accommodations, including, but not limited to, leave to care for the child.

Examples of Pregnancy Discrimination in St. Louis Workplaces

Pregnancy discrimination may occur when someone’s employment is terminated because they are pregnant and intend to take maternity leave. Some employers also deny promotions to some workers who become pregnant or otherwise refuse to hold their position when they take maternity leave, leading to demotion and docked pay upon their return.

Pregnancy discrimination may also include:

  • Refusing to hire a pregnant individual
  • Demoting, transferring, or re-assigning job duties of a pregnant employee
  • Reducing a pregnant employee’s salary
  • Refusing accommodations to pregnant or nursing workers
  • Failing to provide employer health insurance benefits to a pregnant employee while on leave

Available Remedies for Pregnancy Discrimination

A St. Louis employee who has been subjected to pregnancy discrimination must first file a charge of discrimination with either the Missouri Commission on Human Rights (MCHR) or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) within 180 days of the incident of discrimination. If, after an investigation, either agency determines that an employee has a credible pregnancy discrimination claim, it will send a right to sue letter, granting the worker the ability to file the discrimination claim in civil court.

Under RSMo §213.111, the court may award several remedies in a successful civil lawsuit, depending on the nature of workplace pregnancy discrimination. The employee bringing the discrimination suit has the burden of proving that the actions taken against them were directly related to their pregnancy. Damages that may be awarded under include back pay, job reinstatement, damages for emotional pain and suffering, inconvenience, and punitive damages based on the employer’s size.

Let a St. Louis Attorney Help Protect Your Career from Pregnancy Discrimination

Let our St. Louis pregnancy discrimination lawyers review your circumstances and offer insight on how to strengthen your claim. One of our dedicated attorneys could advise you on the best course of action to hold your employer accountable and ensure that your career and rights are protected, so call today.