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Have I been treated unfairly for being told I couldn't work at my new job while pregnant? (20 wks)

Orlando, FL |

just started a new job at an airport I am on my 90 day probationary period. We sit and wait for a 'bag jam' where a suitcase gets stuck on the conveyor system and we climb up move the bags and reset the system. Some bags can be up to 60 lbs. However there are some light duties that require sitting next to the scanner just scanning the bags or manually inputting the scan codes in the system. When I told HR the lady was brief and rude told me I should've told them when I first got there Then proceeded to tell me there are no open positions available for me and there was no way I can be at the scanner for 4 months.. so I can either reapply after the nine months or look for a new job, and other than that she didn't know what to tell me. other pregnant employees were on scan duty for months.

Since working there I've seen other capable men and women working at the scanner and I just don't see how they can tell me I cant work there while pregnant. The thing is scanner duties are apart of the job I was hired for. My job has several different stations and you can be assigned to a different one everyday. There are about 10 scanner positions, and about 20-30 System jam and POD positions, Rovers, etc. So technically Im hired to do any of these jobs.... and scanner duties is exactly that. Sit down and scan bags.

Attorney Answers 2

Posted

My answer is based on the limited facts that you have provided, and should not be construed as creating an attorney-client relationship between you and me. Additional facts might completely change my answer. Please seek the advice of an attorney in your area.

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act is an amendment to Title VII which prohibits discrimination because of pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions. An employer is subject to this Act if it employs 15 or more people.

Whether an accommodation must be provided to a pregnant worker depends on the way the employer treats "other individuals partially incapacitated." The employer must accommodate her the same way they would someone who is not pregnant.

For example, an employee had a temporary limitation (because he broke his arm at home). The employer either changed his duties, or temporarily reassigned his duties that required the use of both his arms to someone else, or temporarily reassigned him to another job, then returned him to his regular assignment as soon as he was physically able to use both arms. Because they accommodated the employee with the broken arm, they have to accommodate the pregnant employee, or you may be found in violation of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. See the EEOC website at the link I've included for more.

If you know that the employer accommodated other pregnant employees by putting them on the "scanner" then you should consult with a local attorney right away to find out what your rights and remedies are!

As I mentioned earlier, my answer is based on the limited facts that you have provided, and should not be construed as creating an attorney-client relationship between you and me. Additional facts might completely change my answer. Please seek the advice of an attorney in your area.

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2 comments

Petaja Jit Downyok

Petaja Jit Downyok

Posted

That was a bit confusing, I thought you said that other pregnant employees were allowed to be on "scanner" duty, but after looking at your question again I don't think you said that. I still say you should consult with an attorney, though!

Asker

Posted

Let me be clear there is currently one pregnant woman working there. Also I was told that a pregnant lady just went on maternity leave a few weeks ago for having her baby, and she was the one on scanner duty. Plus there was a man there with a knee issue, (I'm not sure what happened, he pulled something maybe or hurt it in someway?) and he was also able to be placed on light duty. I seem to be the only person who wasn't. And other employees were sure I would be placed in scanner duty. I had applied for the job before I even knew I was pregnant about 2 and a half months ago, and I believe they never specifically asked me after hire if there was limitations to my work ability.

Posted

If there is really a safety concern for you or the fetus then clearly there is a lawful, legitimate business decision for denying you the job. However, this does clearly suggest consulting with an attorney. If you feel you are discriminated against you will need to comply with company guidelines for reporting it. Sounds like you are no longer employed. ANother question is whether on the post hire questionaires or other application you lied and concealed your condition when being asked if you were, about ability to perform the physical demands of this job. Consult employment counsel. You can also file a charge with the eeoc.

The hiring of a lawyer is an important decision and one you should not make just upon reading something. While I may generally provide some helpful information and an answer to your question, this is not meant to be direct legal advice to you. If you wish legal advice, many attorneys offer free consultations on certain legal issues. If you wish to be certain about how best to proceed to protect your legal interests then I encourage you to contact the lawyer with experience in the same area of law

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