It can be difficult to find perfect maternity clothing. Whether it be your style, body type, or the dress code at work, maternity clothing isn’t always ideal. There are certain instances where it is illegal for an employer to fire you or demote you because you were wearing maternity clothing. A lot of what determines if your employer’s actions were legal or not depends on if the dress code adheres to State and Federal laws. If they do not, then you need to seek actions for being wrongfully terminated for wearing maternity clothing. If you job was negatively affected, such as demoted or fired because of your maternity attire then you may have been subject to workplace discrimination, and it may be time to fire your employer for discrimination.
Getting harassed by manager for wearing maternity pants?
Maternity clothing is a $2 billion industry. Pregnant women spend an average of $500 on maternity clothes. This is an added expense and an added hardship when it comes to pregnancy. Have you been fired or demoted for wearing maternity clothing? If you have, it’s important to determine the context surrounding your situation.
Work Dress Codes and the Law
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act prohibits employment discrimination against an employee based on their race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. In 1978, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act was amended to Title VII to include pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions as a type of sex discrimination. The California labor discrimination law, known as the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), prohibits employment discrimination based on a protected status. This act specifies all protected statuses as race/color, ancestry/national origin, religion/creed, age (over 40), mental and physical disability, sex/gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, and military or veteran status. Title VII covers employees at companies with 15 or more employees, while the FEHA extends its coverage to companies with 5 or more employees. If you were fired because of what you were wearing and it violates these discrimination laws then you should seek out one of our discrimination attorneys to get started on a wrongful termination or discrimination lawsuit. If you were demoted or faced other types of negative repercussions, you may also have a case. Come in to one of our office to discuss the details of a discrimination case further.
Rules around dress code can be tricky sometimes. An employer is allowed to enforce a dress code as long as it does not discriminate against a protected group. If you are an at-will employee, employers can legally fire you without notice and without having to disclose the reason. So yes, there are ways in which how you dress can be a legal reason to be fired.
Some examples of the extent of an employer’s authority over a dress code are: an employer can have discretion over what is allowed and what is banned, an employer’s dress code is allowed to enforce different grooming standards for men and women, and employer can enforce different types of attire for men and women such as women must wear skirts and men must wear slacks, all as long as it does not inhibit employment opportunities based on sex, or denies or favors a certain sex for employment privileges. It should be noted that if there is a dress code that applies to both genders that it must be equally enforced to all employees. Or, if your employer is telling you how to dress, but no one else is being told to, then you may have a case on your hands. Dress codes must be equally enforced. There are also instances that without intention to discriminate, a dress code will discriminate against race. One example is the prohibition of beards. A skin disease only known to affect African Americans makes shaving very painful. If you are facing this issue, please contact one our race discrimination attorneys so that we can help you fight against this racial discrimination at your job.
Can I Be Fired for Wearing Maternity Clothes?
For the most part, if you are wearing maternity clothing due to a pregnancy, and the follow your work dress code guidelines, you are protected from negative job repercussions such as being fired or getting a demotion, under Title VII and the FEHA. There is also a scenario in which you are protected under law for wearing maternity clothes that do not completely follow work dress code. This would be if they are considered a reasonable accommodation. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act is enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and prohibits discrimination based on pregnancy. Under this act, pregnant women are also entitled to up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave, and if the employee is limited in her job functions, then an employee must treat her similarly to a disabled employee. The EEOC requires employers to provide reasonable accommodation to women employees that are pregnant if they are facing a pregnancy related disability. The Americans with Disabilities Act requires employers to provide reasonable accommodation to those that are disabled. While pregnancy itself is not a disability, there are medical conditions related to pregnancy that are considered a disability. If wearing maternity clothes is a necessity for this disability, but they do not adhere to the work dress code, then under these laws you may still be allowed to wear them.
But there may be loophole regarding maternity clothes that could justify being fired.
I was demoted when I returned from maternity leave
Since it’s been stated that an employer has the authority to fire you or place negative repercussions on your job based on a dress code violation as long as it adhered to the law, a situation where wearing maternity clothes may come in to play is if you are wearing them and are not pregnant. Lately, wearing maternity clothing when you are not pregnant has been an idea explored. It’s become somewhat of a fad. Sometimes the clothes are more comfortable, fit better, or you just like the look better! The point is, if it does not follow work dress code, be careful. An employer may have grounds to enact employment repercussions.
Free Consultation and Zero-Fee Guarantee
So the key to determining if you have a discrimination case is if you are pregnant and if the maternity clothes are a necessity to your pregnancy. If you think you do, or even if you’re unsure, it doesn’t hurt to talk to one of our lawyers. The California Labor Law Employment Attorneys Group understands would like to give you a free consultation on your case. We also have a zero-fee guarantee, where we will not charge you anything unless we win your case. Money should not be a factor in keeping you from talking to one of our discrimination or wrongful termination attorneys today!