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Houston law firm faces pregnancy discrimination suit

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

Wayne Wright, a personal injury law firm in Houston, faces charges it fired an employee after she told them she was expecting a child.

According to an EEOC lawsuit, a case manager had worked at the firm since 2004 and had consistently received favorable performance evaluations. She claims all that changed in 2011 when she told the law firm she was pregnant. The firm allegedly in­­formed her that it could not accommodate her maternity leave and told her to choose her last day on the job.

She claims she asked for clarification and was terminated two weeks later. She filed a complaint with the EEOC, but the two sides failed to resolve the dispute through its conciliation process.

The EEOC’s suit seeks back pay and punitive and compensatory damages. The EEOC believes the case is so strong that it has taken the extraordinary step of asking for a declaratory judgment against the firm.

Note: The Pregnancy Dis­­crimi­­na­­tion Act bars employers from treating employees differently because they are or wish to become pregnant. When disciplining a pregnant employee, ask if you would have taken the same action if not for the pregnancy. That’s what the court will ask.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Karl Gerber August 13, 2014 at 7:19 pm

We obviously do not know all of the facts, but the issue is whether a personal injury law firm can accomodate an employee’s maternity leave. Many factors go into whether an employer can accomodate a maternity leave. Simply saying we are sort of a small employer, but large enough to fall under Federal Pregnancy Discrimination statutes does not cut it. As a plaintiff’s employment lawyer I have found the standard for showing economic hardship in a failure to accomodate case is rather difficult for the employer.

Many of the issues pertaining to pregnancy leaves can be found at http://worklawyerca.com/los-angeles-maternity-leave lawyer. Although this appears on a California website, it is based upon Federal Pregnancy Discrimination Statutes that I can tell you as a Texas lawyer apply to Texas employers and employees.

Karl Gerber, a Texas and California Employment Lawyer


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