Can my employer cut back my hours becasue I am pregnant?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can my employer cut back my hours becasue I am pregnant?

The company I work for cut my hours down to 8 a week. When I asked for more hours, I was told that they won’t give me hours because I’m to pregnant. However, I do not perfom my job any differently and am fully able to work. There are cameras at my job to prove this. I have not asked for any special treatment at my job due to my pregnancy. I did ask to not work graveyard because I work in a very dangerous location but that has to do with safety not pregnancy. What do I do?

Asked on December 18, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Washington


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

No, they may not cut your hours because you are pregnant: doing so would be considered illegal sex-based discrimination (since only women get pregnant, treating you different because you are a woman). If your performance at work had suffered, or there was medical advice that you work less while pregnant (e.g. from your doctor), or the job is particularly risky for a pregnant woman (e.g. X-ray technician), it would be a different story, but that is not the situation you describe: in this case, it appears that they are treating you differently just because you are pregnant, and not for safety or performance-based reasons. You therefore may have an illegal discrimination claim, and should contact the federal EEOC to explore it.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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