Post # 1
I recently started a new job and a week in I found out I was pregnant. It’s a contract position so I have been worried thy will let me go when they find out. My job involves lifting 30 to 40 pound boxes which is something I am not used to doing. I am almost 7 wks and my co worker found out today. She contacted her union rep and found out they can fire me and blame it on low job performance. Also now I must tell because it is a health and safety issue to lift while pregnant. I am so worried I will be fired and I don’t qualify for ei or anything. Has anyone else been through his?
Post # 3
Technically, they cannot fire you because you are pregnant if you are living in the US. It would be an EEOC violation.
Post # 4
While they cannot fire you because you are pregnant, you can probably be fired for not being able to do your job. Further, you might not want to be lifting such heavy things while pregnant. Therefore…I would start looking for a job that does not require heavy lifting. Cover your bases. Good luck!
Post # 5
I feel like I don’t really have enough info to make a recommendation, but a few thoughts for consideration:
1 – heavy lifting. as far as I know, it can’t really damage the baby in the first trimester when it’s still a ball of cells. it IS easier to throw out your back because your body gets “softer” to change, but you should be able to still do a fair amount of lifting without hurting the baby, so long as you’re doing it properly.
2 – unions. I’m guessing you’re still on your probationary period. How much longer do you still have to go before you’re permanent/virtually unfireable? I wouldn’t think the union would tell management; while they can’t protect you, i don’t see them sabotaging you. hopefully your coworker won’t say anything either. if you found out a week in, and you’re almost seven weeks along, i’m guessing you’ve been there for a month and a half already? if probationary period is three months, you’re probably good. if it’s six months, iffy. they’ll probably find out, but if you perform well, they might keep you. i would talk directly to the union rep and see what they think is likely to happen based on past situations, and what recommendations they might have for you.
3 – until you get fired (hopefully not!) or need to go on leave: how much of your job is heavy lifting? and can you minimize it while still fulfilling your duties? i used to work in a unionized environment, and people shifted duties around all the time. management didn’t care so long as everything got done by the end of the day. so someone who didn’t want to lift something, would offer to cover tedious paperwork, sort through new supplies, clean something gross, or do some other task instead. there’s always that gym monkey for whom lifting is a breeze and who is more than willing to exchange lifting for photocopying or calling back an irate customer. if your employer sees you’re still working hard, and everything’s getting done, you might be okay.
Post # 6
EI? Employment insurance? I take it you’re Canadian? Do Canadians have laws stating you can’t be fired for being pregnant. like the laws in America? At any rate, if it become unsafe for you to perform your job, it would seem reasonable that they would have to let you go. Sorry.
Post # 7
@mufflerlove: I’m really sorry. This must be a very stressful time for you. I wis I knew more about it to help. good luck!
Post # 8
I wish I could help but if you are unable to perform the work the job requires (whether it is due to a pregnancy or due to something else), you can be fired.
I’d start job search immeadiately for a job that can be performed while pregnant.
Post # 9
@bunnyharriet: Yes, we absolutely have the same laws in Canada. If, however, OP is in the first three months of employment, her contract can be terminated without cause – presumably in such a case the employer would still provide some notice (although none is technically required).
If it were to come to the worst case scenario and you were to be let go, I would request that the ROE state a layoff, which would then still allow you to qualify for EI (so far as I understand). But, you would only qualify for EI if you had completed the minimum number of hours of work/EI contributions on the last year (don’t know the details on this).
*I am not a lawyer. This is not legal advice. Just my understanding of the ESA that exists in Ontario….I’m not sure what province OP is in.