Can I Get Fired While Pregnant?

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April 15, 2023 by Marjorie R. Rogers, MA (English), Certified Consultant

Yes, you can get fired while pregnant. Employers are not allowed to discriminate against employees based on pregnancy or related conditions, however they do have the right to terminate employment for other reasons such as performance-related issues or layoffs due to a lack of work. If an employer is found to be discriminating against an employee because she is pregnant, then that would be considered illegal and grounds for legal action.

Additionally, employers must allow reasonable accommodations for pregnant employees in order to make sure they are safe at work and able to perform their duties without any undue hardship on them or the organization.

  • Refuse to Negotiate: Refusing to negotiate a reasonable solution with your employer regarding job duties or working hours while pregnant can be grounds for dismissal
  • Make sure you are willing and able to discuss adjustments that work for both you and your employer in order to avoid potential conflict and possible termination
  • Miss Deadlines: Missing deadlines, even if it is not directly related to pregnancy, can have serious consequences when it comes to employment
  • Not only does it show a lack of commitment on the employee’s part but employers may view this as an indication of future absenteeism due to pregnancy-related medical issues
  • Become Unreliable: Showing up late or leaving early without notification is an easy way for employers to see that an employee cannot be trusted, especially during sensitive times like maternity leave or other family-related events
  • It is important for expectant mothers (and all employees) remain reliable throughout their period of employment in order maintain a good relationship with their boss and coworkers alike
  • Avoid Communication : Ignoring emails, phone calls, texts messages from supervisors should also be avoided at all costs as this could lead them believing that they cannot depend on the expecting mother which could result in her being terminated before she has the opportunity go out on maternity leave

Woman claims she was fired from job due to pregnancy

What Happens If I Get Fired before Maternity Leave

If you get fired before your maternity leave begins, the rules for handling your maternity leave will depend on the specific country or state in which you live. In some areas, you may still be eligible to receive a portion of your unpaid leave if you’ve been with your employer long enough. In other places, however, it is possible that all remaining leave would become forfeit and no longer available to use.

It’s important to talk to an employment law attorney or contact local government agencies for more information about any applicable laws in your area that may affect this situation.

Can I Get Fired While Pregnant?


What Rights Does a Pregnant Woman Have at Work?

As a pregnant woman in the workplace, you have important rights. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) of 1978 makes it illegal for employers to discriminate against an employee because she is pregnant or has recently given birth. This means your employer cannot fire you due to pregnancy, deny you promotions or make any other decision based on your pregnancy status.

You also have the right to reasonable accommodations at work such as modified duties and flexible scheduling so that expectant mothers can manage their physical limitations while still performing their job duties. In addition, many states now offer unpaid maternity leave options which allow women time off before and after childbirth without having to worry about losing their job security when they return from leave. Finally, it’s important to note that the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides certain employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave during any 12-month period for medical reasons related to their pregnancy or childbirth which allows expectant mothers additional protections in case of complications during her pregnancy that necessitate additional time away from work.

Can I Fire My Pregnant Employee?

No, it is illegal to fire an employee due to pregnancy under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. Employers are required to treat pregnant employees in the same way as other applicants and employees who have similar work restrictions due to medical conditions. Additionally, employers must make reasonable accommodations for pregnant workers if their doctor deems them necessary.

If a business decides to terminate an employee while they are pregnant, they could be held liable for discrimination or wrongful termination.

What Qualifies As Pregnancy Discrimination?

Pregnancy discrimination occurs when an employer treats a pregnant employee unfairly or differently due to their pregnancy. This can include any adverse employment action taken against the pregnant employee, such as hiring and firing decisions, denying promotions or raises, demoting them, or providing different job duties and responsibilities. It can also include harassment based on pregnancy or maternity leave status, as well as any other form of unequal treatment because of a woman’s pregnancy.

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act makes it illegal for employers to discriminate against employees based on their pregnancies—whether they are expecting mothers themselves or have family members who are pregnant.

Can My Job Fire Me for Calling in Sick While Pregnant?

In most cases, an employer cannot fire you for calling in sick while pregnant. It is illegal to discriminate against someone based on their pregnancy or any medical condition related to it. Furthermore, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) requires employers with 50 or more employees to provide up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for an employee experiencing a serious health condition such as pregnancy.

If your employer fires you for taking time off due to a pregnancy-related illness, they could be in violation of federal law and may face legal action if necessary.


In conclusion, pregnant women should be aware of their rights in the workplace and understand that they are protected by both federal and state laws. They can also consult with an employment attorney if they have any questions or concerns about possible discrimination based on pregnancy or childbirth. It is important to remember that employers are obligated to provide reasonable accommodations for pregnant workers, so taking proactive steps to ensure you receive these protections can help ensure a safe and healthy work environment while expecting.

About Author (Marjorie R. Rogers)

The inspiring mum of 6 who dedicates her time to supporting others. While battling with her own demons she continues to be the voice for others unable to speak out. Mental illness almost destroyed her, yet here she is fighting back and teaching you all the things she has learned along the way. Get Started To Read …