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Workplace discrimination and its link to miscarriage

On Behalf of | Feb 1, 2022 | Employment Law

Pregnancy can be both a wonderful experience for women. Sadly, not all pregnancies are successful, and women who suffer miscarriages often need time to physically and emotionally recover. Not all Michigan employers are understanding of this situation, though. Workplace discrimination following a miscarriage is not all that uncommon. 

A wrongful termination 

An out-of-state woman claims that her employer fired her after she went through the trauma of a miscarriage. After losing her pregnancy over the weekend, she notified her bosses that she would not be in to work on Monday. She reported to work in-person on Tuesday, but then worked from home for the remainder of the week. According to her lawsuit, she and several other co-workers had recently maintained hybrid and remote working situations. 

The next week, one of the owners of the company called to fire her. He reportedly told her that remote work was not a part of their company’s culture. When she reminded him that she had worked remotely while recovering from her miscarriage, he apparently said that his wife had only taken half a day off when going through her own miscarriage. 

Miscarriage happens in approximately 25% of all pregnancies. Symptoms can vary greatly, with some women experiencing only mild, period-like symptoms while others go through intense pain. According to a specialist in reproductive endocrinology and fertility, miscarriages can drag on: 

  • Physically 
  • Mentally 
  • Financially 

Pregnant workers are protected by both the Americans with Disabilities Act as well as the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978. That protection becomes a little less clear when it comes to miscarriages, and some employers take that ambiguity as permission to discriminate against workers. This can have long lasting implications for women, although some of those damages may be addressed through the careful actions of a workplace discrimination lawsuit.