Can my company offer me a less paying position because I have a note from my doctor (pregnant) that I cannot do my existing job?

Asked 7 months ago - Oak Lawn, IL

I am pregnant and have a note from my doctor that I need accommodations such as sitting for part of my work day because of back and feet issues. I wanted to continue my job but my company stated that since I was not able to do my current job they offered me a different job. The other job is sitting from 9 to 9 and is a significant cut in pay and also significantly further away/tolls, etc. I feel that they are just trying to get rid of me. When I told them that I would not be able to accept that other job and will just have to keep my current position, they informed me that job was no longer available for me. They told me that I either had to accept that other position or resign. I have one day to answer them! Please, do you have any advice? Thank you!

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Josh Michael Friedman

    Contributor Level 14

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . If your pregnancy has caused you to be disabled but there is a reasonable accommodation that will allow you to perform the basics of your job, your company cannot cut your pay or otherwise discriminate against you. Do not resign. Call an employment lawyer immediately. Most of us will provide a free consultation.

    This answer is provided for informational purposes only and should not be relied on as legal advice. You should... more
  2. John Reid Malkinson

    Contributor Level 10

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . HOLD THE SHOW! Without more facts related to your exact circumstance, such as the job duties, and details about your employer and its practices, it is impossible to categorically conclude that you must accept the lower-paying position. You should contact a skilled employment attorney who can assess your entire situation and properly advise you. Avvo leaves to you, the inquirer, the decision of whether to contact a particular attorney, and you are free to choose to call whomever, or whichever one of us, you wish.

    "Pregnancy discrimination" is really a form of gender-based discrimination. There is a statute--The Pregnancy Discrimination Act--that generally forbids workplace discrimination based upon a pregnancy or childbirth. However, if a woman becomes temporarily unable to perform her job due to pregnancy-related medical conditions, the employer must provide reasonable accommodations and otherwise handle the situation IN THE SAME MANNER it would have to, orhas in the past, for others who have a temporary disability. Here's a link to a portion of the United States EEOC website that you might find helpful: http://www.eeoc.gov/laws/types/pregnancy.cfm

    Accordingly, much of the analysis of your rights should concern the exact nature of your job duties (including the purpose and extent to which you typically are on your feet at work), the nature and expected duration of your medical limitations and the realistic impact they would have on your job performance at your existing position, the existence and nature of other jobs at the company that might accommodate your limitations, and the company's known practices/policies regarding such situations, including past practices with other temporarily disabled or pregnant employees. If, for example, nobody else--or no males--were docked pay when temporarily disabled and temporarily transferred to a lesser position, you are likely entitled to the same treatment.

    Seek a free consultation with a skilled employment law attorney, as most of us will provide, and get a more tailored view of your situation. If you resign your employment before exploring your options, you may effectively forfeit any rights you might otherwise have.

    I hope this helped!

    J. Malkinson/ Malkinson & Halpern, P.C.

    If the foregoing comments or response have been helpful, kindly so-indicate by clicking the “Mark as helpful” icon,... more
  3. Judy A. Goldstein

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . Your employer is not obligated to keep you at the same pay if you are unable to do the same job. They have offered you a job that accommodates your medical issues but that is of a lesser pay. You do not need to resign but if you stay you will have to take the alternate [position.

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