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Firing after delivery can still be pregnancy discrimination

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in Firing,Human Resources,Leaders & Managers,Management Training,Maternity Leave Laws

Here’s an employer argument that didn’t work: It couldn’t have been pregnancy discrimination when we fired her because she wasn’t pregnant anymore.

Recent case: Leah Valentine worked for Legendary Marine, a boating supply retailer. When she became pregnant, she trained a co-worker to fill in for her during her maternity leave. Then she worked until going into labor.

A few days later, the store terminated Valentine, allegedly as part of a reduction in force. She claimed discrimination under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act.

Her former employer argued that since she wasn’t pregnant when she was fired, it couldn’t have discriminated against her due to pregnancy.

The court rejected the argument, reasoning that an employee terminated because she has just given birth would, naturally, have been terminated because of pregnancy. It ordered a trial. (Valentine v. Legendary Marine, No. 3:09-334, ND FL, 2010)

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