If you’re pregnant, does that mean you can’t be fired?

As a worker in 2021, you know well that you have rights if you become pregnant. You should not have to fear losing your job as a result. Firing you for being pregnant is illegal, offering you some stability and the chance to choose the life you want for yourself. 

However, some people take this to mean that it is impossible to fire a pregnant worker, thus locking down a job for at least nine months. Is this true? Is your employer entirely unable to fire you because you’re pregnant? 

You can still be fired for other reasons

The law states that you cannot be fired because you are pregnant. If you are interviewing for jobs, you also can’t be denied because you’re pregnant. Moreover, the mere fact that you may become pregnant in the future can’t be used as a reason to fire you or refuse to hire you, as that could turn into discrimination against women in a specific age group. 

That said, you can still get fired for other reasons, just like any other worker. You are not guaranteed your job, for example, if you violate company policy, don’t adequately perform your job duties or the company is going through lay-offs. You simply can’t be terminated because of your pregnancy.

As you can imagine, though, this leads to some complicated situations. Maybe your employer found out you were pregnant and then said they were firing you due to your work performance. You may argue that they never had an issue with your performance before. Your employer could try to disguise their true intentions with excuses or made-up reasons.

What to do if you suspect pregnancy discrimination

If you’ve been the victim of workplace discrimination, it’s wise to know what legal options you have at your disposal. Working with an experienced advocate can make it a lot easier to decide your next moves.