Is it legal to fire someone after they asked to be moved to another side of the facility because the fumes were making them and they are pregnant?

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Is it legal to fire someone after they asked to be moved to another side of the facility because the fumes were making them and they are pregnant?

The employer asked her to get an excuse from the doctor but when she did they fired her. Is that legal?

Asked on December 21, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Alabama

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

This may be illegal, and the employee should either contact her state equal/civil rights agency and/or speak with an employment law attorney. The law requires employers to make "reasonable accomodations" for pregnant employees and not discriminate against them in employment due to their pregnancy. It is possible that being fired for requesting to be moved away from fumes, especially if there was medical evidence to support the request (a doctor's note), would therefore be illegal. From what you write, it is certainly worthwhile for her to take the next step and speak with someone about the situation in detail. (Note: many attorneys provide a free initial consultation; the employee can inquire into this before setting up an appointment, if she wants).


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