i got fired from my job

UPDATED: Dec 27, 2016

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i got fired from my job

I got fired from my job 2-3 months ago and I got fired a week before going on FMLA for my first child and I got fired for being minute late back from break.

Asked on December 27, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Pennsylvania


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

You may very well have a case: employers cannot retaliate against women for being pregnant (that is considered sex-based discrimination, since only women become pregant) or against employees taking FMLA leave (the law specifically bars retaliation for using this legally guaranteed benefit). Firing you on what seems to be an incredibly flimsy pretext certainly appears to be illegal discrimination and/or harassment, and you should contact the state department of labor to complain and FMLA retaliation, and possibly also the federal EEOC and/or the state's equal/civil rights agency about sex-based discrimination. (Unfortunately, FMLA is overseen by the labor dept. and discrimation by the EEOC and any other civil/equal rights agency--while you can ask the first agency you contact if they can help you with all the issues, you will likely have to speak with & file complaints with two agencies.)
The employer would only seem to have a defense in this case if they can show either or both of the following:
1) They take an incredibly hard line on break lateness and have in fact fired other employees for the exact same thing; and/or
2) You have a history of coming back late (or being late to work generally) and have been warned, and this was just the "last straw."
That is, they would need to have evidence that your firing had nothing to do with you being pregnant or requesting FMLA, but rather that you would have been fired in this circumstance despite that.

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