What are the guidelines for legally terminating a pregnant independent contractor?

The company I work for is a small dog walking company with about 5 other independent contractors. I am pregnant and the owner of the company is telling me that I am a liability because of my pregnancy and that there are not enough employees to take over for me during the time that I would need to give birth and recover. Under what guidelines could he legally terminate my contract?

New York, NY -

Attorney Answers (3)

Arthur H. Forman

Arthur H. Forman

Employment / Labor Attorney - Flushing, NY
Answered

It is difficult to answer without seeing the contract, but in general, he probably can't terminate your contract legally if you can supply walkers to substitute for you until you return.

Jeffrey Bruce Gold

Jeffrey Bruce Gold

Employment / Labor Attorney - Bellmore, NY
Answered

There is a shot, and I mean just a shot, at making a discrimination claim stick here, because your position is close to that of an employee. I think that if you want to keep your job throughout that period, you might want to have an attorney send a letter spelling out precisely what days you will be needing off, and setting forth the days you will be available. By any chance do you have a written contract? Would this company be able to pay a judgment, if you obtained one.

If you'd like to discuss, please feel free to call. Jeff Gold Gold, Benes, LLP 1854 Bellmore Ave Bellmore,... more
Denise Kingue-Bonnaig

Denise Kingue-Bonnaig

Employment / Labor Attorney - New York, NY
Answered

You might have a claim under the NYC Human Rights Law, provided certain factors are met. To thoroughly evaluate your situation, and before you stop working, please schedule a consultation with an experienced employment lawyer, ASAP. You have more leverage and ability to resolve the problem while you are still working.

Denise K. Bonnaig
212-374-1511

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