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Woman awarded $550,000 in pregnancy discrimination case

Being mistreated or fired simply because one is pregnant is illegal and is grounds for a lawsuit in Texas. In one recent out-of-state case, a woman filed a pregnancy discrimination lawsuit against her employer, Chipotle, after she was terminated because of her pregnancy. She was recently awarded punitive and compensatory damages totaling $550,000.

The woman was working at the restaurant one day when she told her supervisor she was pregnant. That is when her boss reportedly told her that whenever she had to use the bathroom, she had to announce this to her co-workers, and her bathroom breaks had to be approved so that her position at work could be covered. According to the suit, these requirements were not imposed on employees who were not pregnant.

One day, the woman allegedly told her boss that she had to go to a doctor's appointment. At the time, he is said to have ignored her, so she simply left. However, the woman asserted that he ended up firing her the following day.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's Pregnancy Discrimination Act states that a woman cannot be discriminated against in any aspect of her employment, which includes layoffs, promotions, job assignments, pay, firing, hiring, fringe benefits and training. In fact, employers are required to treat pregnant women in the same way they treat other employees who are temporarily disabled. Pregnant women also legally cannot be harassed to the point where a hostile work environment has been created. A woman in Texas who experiences pregnancy discrimination has the right to file a claim against her employer, seeking damages sustained as a result of this type of illegal behavior.

Source: refinery29.com, "Chipotle To Pay $550,000 To Employee Fired For Being Pregnant", Sabrina Rojas Weiss, Aug. 6, 2016

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