Maria Pineda worked for Bath Unlimited although she didn’t have legal work papers. Two weeks after Pineda divulged her pregnancy, Bath fired her. The EEOC asked for an explanation. Bath cited excessive
A court ordered a jury trial, which will focus on pregnancy bias, not her illegal status. (Pineda v. Bath Unlimited, No. 06-CV-2328, DC NJ, 2007)
Advice: Enforce all rules equally for all employees. Even undocumented employees can sue your organization for on-the-job employment discrimination. Federal courts will entertain discrimination lawsuits, ignoring illegal status. Such employees probably won’t win lost wages (since they can’t work legally), but they still may be awarded other damages, such as for emotional pain and suffering.
- How to Fire an Employee the Legal Way: 6 Termination Guidelines
- FMLA and ADA accommodation: Don't dismiss request to work from home
- Worry about disciplinary inequities from one supervisor, not every boss
- Prepare unified defense; ruling may spark more state suits
- Employees can use vacation time toward one-year FMLA eligibility