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
- When employee has pregnancy complications, be prepared to consider ADA accommodations
- Warn bosses: Keep concerns to yourself if employee's pregnancy doesn't fit project schedule
- Job openings: No duty to notify employees on leave
- Termination after maternity leave may violate the FMLA