Termination in the Advent of New Life

By: Atty. Gabriel Cosh

If you are an employee, one of the greatest news that could ever be delivered to you is the fact that you are about to rear a new child. This coupled with the fact that you have been preparing all your life for that other individual to enter your life. Be that as it may, knowledge that you are pregnant, may actually bring about contradicting opinions and actions from people around you. Let us consider how your employer would react at this situation.

Two things may happen upon your employer acquiring the said knowledge. First, if your employer acts in consonance with the laws set forth on the protection of the working women in the production environment then he would squarely follow the laws of the land and give you the rights afforded by law. Maternity leave, which are paid days off from work, and the fact that after your pregnancy you will be retained to your previous work position. Or the other thing that may happen, is that your employer can find a way to terminate your services on the sole basis of your pregnancy. As per experience, and with the capitalist society we are living in right now, the latter is the obvious reaction of your employer.

Discriminating an individual on the basis of pregnancy is an unfair labor practice which the law abhors. The Fair Employment and Housing Act outlines the protection afforded to the pregnant employee for disability brought about by pregnancy, childbirth and other related medical conditions. The law favors in fact that they may be transferred to duties that would require lesser strain, and is medically advised to have the same.

Yet employers always find a way of having acts that run counter to this substantive law. They may either find proofs to show that with the present physical condition of the employee she can no longer comply with the essential rigors of her work. Or that reasons removing her are far fetched from her physical condition.

Ultimately, if the employee is removed having her pregnancy as a factor for her termination, then the employer would be liable for unlawful discrimination, and a cause of action may be had against it.

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