Question Details:I have been working at my job for 2 years with no problems. I found out that I am pregnant. I couldn't go to work for a week because of a pregnancy issue. When I came back to work today the boss told me that they cut my hours by half. I used to work 40 hours a week now she said I will only work 20 hours a week. When I asked why she said that they have money problems, however, only my hours have been cut. I truly feel she did this to make me quit because I am pregnant. What can I do? Should I speak with am employment law attorney? I live in Broward County,
Yes. This is a common issue facing many pregnant employees across the country. Many employers upon learning of an employee's pregnancy seek to cut hours or job responsibilities in the hopes of the employee quiting before they take their leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act. Keep in mind that employers have a great deal of discretion in how they distribute hours. So, a one time reduction in hours may just be due to the currect economic environment facing many businesses. However, if there is a consistent pattern of a reduction in your hours alone, you should seek a consultation with an employment attorney.
You should speak with an employment attorney, since you may have a discrimination or harassment claim. Employers may not discriminate against pregnant women. Certain reasonable changes, necessitated by the nature of the employer's available work, are allowed--for example, if a pregnant woman had trouble standing for long periods, she could be moved from a job that required extensive standing, even if that meant cutting hours. Or she could be moved from a job that exposed her to potentially hazardous conditions. However, in the absence of an accomodation required by the combination of the preganancy and the available work, employers should not discriminate against pregnant women. From what you write, it would be worth consulting with an employment attorney (many will provide a free initial consultation). Good luck.