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Pregnancy Discrimination and Retaliation for Opposing Pregnancy Discrimination

Through my years as an employment law attorney, a significant amount of my practice has involved representing women in pregnancy discrimination matters.  There is often an overlap between pregnancy discrimination, disability discrimination and the enforcement of the Family and Medical Leave Act.  Since I also faced a discriminatory environment when I was pregnant,  I am particularly sensitive to the challenges faced by pregnant women and women who return to the workplace after the birth of their child. Privacy and confidentiality provisions in settlement agreements prohibit me from identifying cases, named parties, and the existence and terms of settlement agreements.  However, if you are a victim of pregnancy discrimination, I will take all necessary steps to protect your rights, so that you are able to remain employed and not subjected to second class work conditions because of your decision to have a child.

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act, the Illinois Human Rights Act (IHRA) and various local ordinances prohibit employment discrimination against an employee or job applicant based on pregnancy.  Under these laws, it is illegal for an employer to make employment decisions regarding hiring, promotion, demotion, termination, compensation, job training or other terms and conditions of employment on the basis of your pregnancy.

The same laws that protect you against pregnancy discrimination also protect you from retaliation for complaining about pregnancy discrimination or participating in an investigation of pregnancy discrimination.  As an employee, you have a legal right to complain about pregnancy discrimination in the workplace.  If you exercise your legal rights to complain, it is illegal for your employer to “retaliate” against you by firing you, harassing you, stripping you of your job responsibilities, refusing to give you deserved raises, issuing unwarranted discipline, etc.

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act and the IHRA applies to employers with at least 15 employees.