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If I know that I’m getting pregnant after i sign the offer letter from a new company.Does the new company have the right to not pass me for the probation period and ask me to leave in order to avoid me take the maternity leave.
Asked on March 5, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Alaska
SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney
Answered 3 years ago | Contributor
No, they do not, EXCEPT in the limited circumstances below; as a general matter, the law makes it illegal to disrciminate against or harass women due to pregnancy, such as by asking them to leave employment. Discriminating against or harassing due to pregnancy is taken to be anti-woman discrimination or harassment, since only women get pregnant, and sex-based discrimination is illegal. You may wish to contact the EEOC to look into filing a complaint.
The narrow exception: there are some positions that cannot be safely done by a pregnant woman, such as handling certain chemicals, being a radiation tech, etc. In those cases, if the entirety or at least core/critical elements of the job cannot be done while pregnant, the employer may be justified in letting you go--they are not required to expose you or you baby to that risk, or themselves to the risk of lawsuit/liability.