Pregnancy discrimination: You may be personally liable

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in Firing,Human Resources,Maternity Leave Laws

Here’s a good reason to make sure pregnant employees don’t experience bias: The Pennsylvania Human Relations Act (PHRA) protects against pregnancy discrimination and holds personally liable anyone who aids or abets discriminatory practices.

Recent case: The day Rimma told her boss when she would take maternity leave, her employer set in motion plans to terminate her. After being fired for various alleged reasons, she sued both the employer and the individuals she alleged came up with reasons to fire her without legitimate grounds.

The court agreed that all the individuals could be held liable under the pregnancy discrimination provision of the PHRA. That’s because the law defines “employer” to include persons, not just companies. The court said a jury should hear the case. (Turevsky v. FixtureOne, et al., No. 10-CV-2911, ED PA, 2012)

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