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Can you be “let go” from your job if you are pregnant?

Like many pregnant women in Minnesota, you probably hold a job. This can be challenging as you try to adjust to the physical effects of pregnancy while still performing your duties. You may be having problems with back pain, nausea or vomiting. At Neaton & Puklich PLLP, we are often approached by women in your situation who ask if they can be let go from their job due to their pregnancy status.

According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, it is illegal for companies to fire or terminate you because of your pregnancy. Your employer does not have to specifically cite your pregnancy as the reason for your termination for this law to apply. For example, after learning about your pregnancy, your employer told you that you needed to provide a doctor’s certification that you were still physically able to do your job and when you couldn’t, you were let go. Under the law, your employer cannot require this of you and so you could challenge the termination.

Another common excuse that your employer could give is that you were missing too many days of work due to your condition. However, if you were terminated for this reason, you could file a complaint of wrongful termination. As long as you have medical proof that your absences were due to the pregnancy, an employer must accommodate you. The same is true if your employer suddenly establishes new rules or restrictions to you that do not apply to other co-workers. For more information about questioning your termination of employment, please visit our web page.

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