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You Take Leave to Bond With Your New Baby. Then You Get Fired.

September 2, 2022 Family and Medical Leave Act Claims

Pregnancy Discrimination and FMLA Retaliation

Having a baby is a time of celebration and joy. But unfortunately, for those working during and after their pregnancy, “what to expect when you’re expecting” can also include pregnancy discrimination.

It is unlawful for employers to discriminate against pregnant employees—including in hiring and firing decisions, how much you get paid, what assignments you get, what promotions or trainings you have access to, and fringe benefits such as health insurance and paid or unpaid leave.

One of the things you have a right to is leave to bond with your new baby after the pregnancy. This is afforded to all new parents, including fathers and adoptive parents, under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

It is unlawful—but all too common—for employers to retaliate against parents for taking that leave.

Your Rights Under the FMLA

Under the FMLA, eligible new parents may receive 12 weeks of unpaid leave to bond with the new baby. Whether or not you are eligible depends on certain factors, such as how long you’ve worked with the employer and the size of your employer; see here for more information on eligibility.

Unfortunately, it’s not unusual for employers to retaliate against employees for taking the leave they’re entitled to. Here’s what discrimination can look like:

  • Firing you because you took leave you’re entitled to.
  • Demoting you or reducing your pay.
  • Transferring you to a less desirable position, location or shift.
  • Physical or verbal abuse.
  • Threatening to report you to the authorities (for instance, because of your immigration status).
  • Giving you a negative work review, especially when the employer has been satisfied with your work in the past (this is called the “suddenly incompetent” maneuver).
  • Subjecting you to increased scrutiny and criticism.
  • Retaliation against a spouse or family member who also works for the company.

What To Do if Your Employer Is Retaliating Against You 

If your employer is retaliating against you for taking FMLA leave that you’re entitled to, you should speak with a knowledgeable employment attorney.

Your attorney can assess the facts of your situation and your employer’s behavior, determine your rights, and help you hold your employer accountable.

Call us at 267-273-1054 or email us at for a free, confidential consultation today.

The information provided here does not constitute legal advice. It is intended for general purposes only. If you have questions about a specific legal issue, you should speak to an attorney.