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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    3

    Default Pregnancy Discrimination

    My question involves labor and employment law for the state of: Colorado
    I started a new job about 2 months ago and before I started with this company I made it known that I was pregnant. At the time nobody seemed to have an issue with it but as I progressed in my job and demonstrated my experience level and competency with the product that we are making I was appoached a number of times by various supervisors and the production manager himself about moving up in structure (team lead, supervisor) but I regretfully declined as taking one of these positions would take precious time away from spending it with my husband and 2 year old daughter. Even more so than my present position already did. Then I started noticing that I was being made to work with chemicals, which I objected to initially, but finally conceded after saw that my point of view was not being acknowledged. A few days went by and I was approached by a co-worker and he voiced his concern about me working with these chemicals and the possible affect that it could have with my unborn child. After researching this I presented the information that I found to my supervisor and he then informed the production manager and he inturn took this information to human resources and today I was informed that if I did not get a doctors release stating which chemicals I can safely work with my employment with be terminated. Today is Friday and I have to have this information by Monday and my doctor cannot see me until Friday. So my question is what rights do I have and if I am terminated do I have a legitamet right to sue this company?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    24,208

    Default Re: Pregnancy Discrimination

    You were hired with the company knowing you were pregnant. You were invited to move up with the company knowing you were pregnant. You went to the company claiming to be concerned about a potential medical condition; they took your concern seriously and required that you provide a doctor's release stating that there was, in fact, no issue. Your doctor's schedule is not your employer's concern - they are following up on a concern that YOU raised.

    I'm sorry, where are you seeing discrimination? Or even a suggestion that you have grounds to sue?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Pregnancy Discrimination

    This is why I ASKED the question. And second there are OSHA regulations that state that I cannot be MADE to work with these chemicals. I was assigned other work tasks that did not involve anything to do with chemicals in the past and was obviously doing an excellent job then I delcine thier requests to move to a higher positition because of the extra time that it would take away from my home life. When I work with these chemicals there are literally 5 to 10 able bodied non-pregnant people literally standing around not doing anything but I am the one the is being MADE to complete these job tasks. And how many doctors offices are opened on the weekends? To me is looks like I am being set up to fail and if you were in my position I am almost certain you would feel the same and feel the need to educate yourself on you RIGHTS would you not?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    24,208

    Default Re: Pregnancy Discrimination

    I think the fact that you were hired with them knowing you were pregnant, and were offered promotions with them knowing you were pregnant, means you will have a very difficult time proving pregnancy discrimination. No law requires that they create a new position for you within your restrictions, so if you cannot work with these chemicals and there are no open positions for which you have qualifications they are not required to make something up for you. MY doctor has coverage on weekends - you mean yours doesn't? If not, you need a new doctor.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Pregnancy Discrimination

    I never asked for them to create a new postition for me but why all of a sudden did they start asking me to work with these chemicals, I am the most competent hourly in this department and even more so than any of the supervisors. I see it for what it is and that is that since I refused to do what they wanted I am paying that price for that and the fact that I am concerned about my unborn childs health should not make me any less valuable an employee. It may not be against the law but that says alot about this companies ethics or lack there of. My husband and I recently relocated here about 9 months ago so I just do not know enough about each and every OB and thier hours of service. I will go ahead and get a consult from a local attorney as I fear that the decision has already been made to terminate my employment and not once did I ever REFUSE to work with these chemicals I simply voiced my concerns and I do not see anything wrong with that.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    98,846

    Default Re: Pregnancy Discrimination

    What OSHA regulations and material safety data sheets should we be looking at? Would it give away too much to let us know the chemicals, or at least the ones that most concern you?

    You don't have the right to refuse to do your job based upon your personal interpretation of OSHA rules - the concern needs to be substantiated by the actual rules or, as that is apparently sufficient for your employer for its purposes, by your doctor.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    6,808

    Default Re: Pregnancy Discrimination

    There are Urgent Care facilities open on weekends. That might get you the medical clearance you need to continue working.

    May I point out - you have stated you are the most competent worker? So it's logic that a company would want the most competent person doing that kind of work....

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    OH10
    Posts
    17,019

    Default Re: Pregnancy Discrimination

    The fact that they hired you and promoted you is evidence of non discrimination. They are not required to change your job. It is not discrimination to terminate you, you initiated the situation.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    98,846

    Default Re: Pregnancy Discrimination

    We can access OSHA regulations, and can probably find MSDS information, at our fingertips. (Sure enough.) The doctor's note is necessary if they don't substantiate the mother's concern, but if in fact the claim is correct that the prohibition flows from occupational safety rules we might be able to confirm or refute that with information about the chemicals.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    1,988

    Default Re: Pregnancy Discrimination

    I am not aware of any OSHA regulations that grant an employee a right to not work with certain chemicals while pregnant.

    If you cannot perform your necessary job duties due to doctor's orders, your employer may reassign you to something you can do, if they can and are willing to do so, otherwise if they are covered under FMLA you may take your FMLA leave like anyone else taken out of work by their doctor.

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