When a formerly high-rated employee suddenly finds herself on the receiving end of a poor evaluation, she’s likely to look for a reason—such as her recent announcement that she is expecting a baby. If she’s then terminated, a lawsuit will probably follow.
Recent case: Elvimar worked for the Fashion Institute of Technology as a nontenured instructor. She got good reviews for her work until a few weeks after she announced she was pregnant. Then she was suddenly fired.
She sued, allegingunder the New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL).
The college argued it had planned to terminate Elvimar before the announcement—but couldn’t explain the earlier reviews. The judge said a jury should decide whether it was pregnancy discrimination or declining performance that led to her discharge. (Colon, et al., v. FIT, et al., No. 12-CV-7405, SD NY, 2013)
- How to Fire an Employee the Legal Way: 6 Termination Guidelines
- Beware individual liability under FMLA and CEPA
- Disability insurance kicks in on Day 1 at Virginia firm
- Employee is pregnant? You can still discipline or fire if she violates your policies
- No need to extend maternity leave when it's clear mother won't be able to return