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Employment Law Blog
James Tarquin, P.A
As part of our commitment to assist and educate employees in fighting back against the abusive employment practices of employers, we offer a broad range of information about employment law issues in our employment blog.

Employee Claims Pregnancy Discrimination When She Was Replaced By Non-Pregnant Employee

pregnant businesswoman reading papers at office

Having litigated employment discrimination cases for more than two decades, our Citrus County, Florida pregnancy discrimination lawyers have learned that pregnant employees who are discharged are invariably replaced by a non-pregnant employee. Although not sufficient, standing alone, to prove a pregnancy discrimination case, showing that an employer replaced a discharged pregnant employee with a non-pregnant employee is evidence of a pregnancy-based discriminatory discharge. In this article, our Inverness, Florida pregnancy discrimination lawyers explain how the decision by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York in Codrington v. Carco Group, Case No. 13-cv-2780 (E.D. N.Y. June 27, 2014) illustrates that an employer’s decision to replace a discharged pregnant employee with a non-pregnant employee is evidence that discriminatory intent motivated the employer’s termination decision.

Employee Claims Fired Because Of Pregnancy

In that case, Kelly Codrington (Codrington) brought a pregnancy discrimination lawsuit against her former employer, Carco Group (Carco), pursuant to the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA). The PDA prohibits employers from discriminating against women based on pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. Thus, the PDA not only covers pregnancy, but also childbirth and related medical conditions. An employee claiming a discriminatory discharge in violation of the PDA must show that her discharged occurred while she was affected by pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. Codrington claims that Carco violated the PDA by firing her because of her pregnancy.
During her employment with Carco, Codrington became pregnant. Codrington informed her supervisor that she was pregnant and that she “intended to stay with the company through her pregnancy and wanted to return after as well.” During this meeting, Codrington told her supervisor that she was “nervous about her job security” because she was not eligible for a leave of absence under the Family Medical Leave Act for the birth of her child since she had not been employed with the company for more than one year. Codrington notified her supervisor that she intended to miss six weeks of work after giving birth and that she would be “calling for her job back” at the end of the six-week period. However, Codrington’s supervisor said that he “couldn’t guarantee her job” would still be available in January 2012 when she expected to return after giving birth.
In December 2011, Codrington left work in order to give birth. When she called Carco six weeks after giving birth in order to claim her job back, Codrington was informed that there was no job available for her. Codrington alleges that Carco replaced her with a non-pregnant employee.

Non-Pregnant Replacement Shows Discrimination

Carco filed a motion with the trial court seeking dismissal of Codrington’s pregnancy discrimination claim. In doing so, Carco argued that Codrington had not alleged sufficient facts to establish that she was fired because of her pregnancy. The trial court denied Carco’s motion for dismissal and ruled that Codrington had alleged facts giving rise to an inference of pregnancy discrimination.
In denying Carco’s motion for dismissal, the trial court focused on Codrington’s allegations regarding her replacement. The trial court explained that an employee is entitled to an inference of pregnancy discrimination by showing that her position remained open following her discharge and was ultimately filled by a non-pregnant employee. The trial court pointed out that Codrington alleged that her position remained open for five weeks after she left work to give birth and was ultimately filled by an employee who was not pregnant. Based on such allegations, the trial court concluded, Codrington was entitled to an inference that her discharge was motivated by pregnancy discrimination.

Consult With Inverness Discrimination Lawyers

Based in Ocala, Florida and representing employees throughout Central Florida, our Citrus County, Florida pregnancy discrimination attorneys have been fighting for the rights of employees for more than twenty years. If you have been discriminated against on the basis of pregnancy or have questions about your protection from pregnancy discrimination under the federal civil rights laws, please contact our office for a free consultation with our Inverness, Florida pregnancy discrimination lawyers. Our employee rights law firm takes employment discrimination cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that there are no attorney’s fees incurred unless there is a recovery and our attorney’s fees come solely from the monetary award that you recover.

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