Pregnancy, while a joyful period in life, can unfortunately come with its own set of challenges in the workplace. There exists a grave concern among expectant mothers about the security of their jobs. Wrongful termination is a grave issue, and it can become more complicated when it involves a pregnant worker. In such situations, the experience of an attorney becomes invaluable. The Law Office of Mitchell A. Kline is prepared to protect your best interests. Contact our firm for guidance specific to your case.
Understanding Pregnancy Discrimination in Illinois
Illinois is a state that operates under the “at-will” employment doctrine, meaning employers can terminate your employment without any reason. However, they cannot fire you for an illegal reason, such as pregnancy. This form of discrimination is known as pregnancy discrimination and is considered a type of wrongful termination.
The federal and state laws protect women from being fired solely on the grounds of their pregnancy. The Illinois Human Rights Act specifically prohibits sex discrimination, which includes firing someone because they are pregnant, have just given birth, or have a related medical condition. Interestingly, while federal law only protects against pregnancy discrimination for employers with more than 15 workers, the Illinois Human Rights Act applies to all employers in the state.
Protection under the Illinois Human Rights Act
As a pregnant employee, you are entitled to certain rights under the Illinois Human Rights Act. It mandates your employer to make reasonable accommodations for you based on any medical restrictions stemming from your pregnancy, related medical condition, or childbirth. This could mean allowing more restroom breaks or assigning lighter duties.
Seeking Justice for Pregnancy Discrimination
If you feel that you have been discriminated against due to your pregnancy, it is crucial to seek legal assistance. The first step is to file charges of discrimination with a federal or state government agency, such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or Illinois Department of Human Rights (IDHR). These agencies may attempt to mediate the situation between you and your employer.
If resolution is not achieved, you are allowed to file a lawsuit to seek damages. Damages can range from reinstatement of your job to back pay and other compensation. However, if you wish to sue your employer before the government agency reviews your claim, you must request a right-to-sue letter from the agency.
Why Choose the Law Office of Mitchell A. Kline?
Navigating pregnancy discrimination can be complex and emotionally taxing. Having an experienced attorney by your side can make all the difference. The Law Office of Mitchell A. Kline, with its rich experience in employment law, is equipped to guide you through this challenging time. Our firm is known for its compassion, integrity, and professionalism. We understand the emotional toll that such experiences can take on individuals and offer empathetic legal representation.
With over 30 years of experience, including working as an administrative law judge at the Illinois Human Rights Commission, Mitchell A. Kline brings a unique perspective and skill set to the table. His vast experience allows him to provide the best representation possible. Call today to discuss your wrongful termination case.