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Pregnant woman accuses her employer of workplace discrimination

Pregnancy can be an exciting time in a woman's life. Due to the way that the world is changing, more women are remaining in the workforce during their pregnancy. While women are with child, they should be given a reasonable accommodations to allow them to continue to do their work. Unfortunately, some Texas employers look at a woman being pregnant on the job in a negative light and may treat her differently or feel that she is no longer fit to work, ultimately terminating her. The pregnant woman may choose to fight back against her employer by filing a workplace discrimination claim.

A woman who worked as a practice administrator for a dental practice is accusing the company of pregnancy discrimination. Due to the profitability of some of the offices to which she was an administrator, she earned quarterly bonuses that ranged between $800 and $2,000. Once she announced her pregnancy to the new regional administrator, everything began to change. When she first told her supervisor about her pregnancy, she claims her supervisor said that doctor appointments related to her pregnancy could not interfere with her work. A short time after her announcement, many of her profitable offices were given to her supervisor's friend, which greatly reduced her bonus potential.

The plaintiff had read that there were studies showing a possible correlation between miscarriages and being exposed to nitrous oxide. The woman made mention to her supervisor about her concerns of being near the gas, but she was allegedly told that she would be fine and was not permitted to stay away from the situation. Sadly, the woman miscarried her child. When she became pregnant again and was expected to be near nitrous oxide, she was once again told that she would be fine. The plaintiff refused to take the risk and worked from her car.

She later lost her job for allegedly straying from her work schedule and not properly assisting two of the dentists. In turn, she filed a workplace discrimination claim and accused them of putting her into a harmful situation that could be detrimental to her pregnancy. Texas workers who become pregnant and are not provided reasonable accommodations upon request may choose to file a claim against their employer if their request is denied. The worker may be awarded monetary damages, lost wages and be reinstated, if applicable.

Source: madisonrecord.com, "Heartland Dental accused of gender discrimination in Madison County suit", , Sept. 17, 2014

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