Effective Advocacy for Tennessee Victims of Pregnancy Discrimination

Lawyers in Nashville, Chattanooga, Memphis, and Jackson are fighting for mothers’ rights in workplaces across Tennessee

Employers cannot discriminate against women who are pregnant, have a newborn, or have a medical condition related to pregnancy. The main law that protects pregnant women from discrimination is the federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) of 1978. There are also federal and Tennessee maternity and medical leave acts, which are discussed elsewhere. The PDA law holds that larger employers cannot fire, refuse to hire, fail to promote, or fail to provide comparable benefits that non-expectant women and men receive.

The Tennessee law firm of Gilbert Russell McWherter Scott Bobbitt PLC, understands the direct and subtle ways employers try to punish or penalize mothers. Our Tennessee pregnancy discrimination lawyers guide mothers and families through this bittersweet time by making employers pay damages. Motherhood should be one of the main joys of life. When employers treat pregnant mothers unfairly, the employer should be held accountable.

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA)

The PDA is an amendment to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. It prohibits sex discrimination based on pregnancy. It was enacted because the US Supreme Court failed to apply Title VII to pregnant women. The PDA requires that employers treat pregnancy as a form of temporary disability. The same opportunities, benefits, and rights offered to workers who are temporarily disabled must be offered to women who are pregnant.

This right to be treated like other temporarily disabled workers includes the right not to be fired for being pregnant. Pregnant women also cannot be fired temporarily while they are pregnant or while they are showing. It cannot be assumed that a woman who is carrying a child will not want to return to work after the pregnancy and lawful maternity leave period.

The law does not require employers to provide medical coverage for abortions except where the mother’s life is threatened.  Employers are required to provide disability pay and sick leave for women who have abortions if disability and sick pay would otherwise be offered.

Evidence of discrimination based on pregnancy

Our Tennessee pregnancy discrimination lawyers have the experience and knowledge to prove when employers are not playing by the rules. In the most straightforward cases, the employer makes clear that a woman was denied an opportunity or benefit. An employer might say, “I would have given you the job, but I knew you would want to spend time with your newborn.” In most cases, though, the employer does not make such an outright statement. Instead, events and indirect happenings can prove the pregnancy discrimination.

Some of the key factors our office reviews are:

  • The existing company-wide policies. This can include written rules as well as unwritten ones
  • Some deviation from usual business practice
  • An examination of how other pregnant mothers were treated in the workplace
  • How the mother was treated immediately prior to the pregnancy
  • How other employees with disabilities were treated
  • The circumstances of the firing, failure to get a promotion, or denial of benefits
  • The qualifications of the person who replaces you

Employers cannot retaliate against a pregnant mother who asserts her rights. Employers also cannot retaliate against a coworker who supports the claims of the mother. Retaliation, like direct discrimination, can include being terminated, losing a promotion, being forced to do unusual tasks, being isolated, or being forced to work in a different location than before the complaint was made. Employers also cannot threaten pregnant mothers and coworkers with retaliation.

Our firm holds employers who discriminate against pregnant mothers accountable

The Gilbert Firm fights for anyone who is the subject of discrimination in Nashville, Chattanooga, Memphis, Jackson, and across Tennessee. We aggressively fight to hold the employer accountable and to get you the right employment status and all the work benefits you deserve. To review your case with an experienced Tennessee pregnancy discrimination attorney, please call 888.996.9731 or complete our contact form.