I was fired while pregnant. What are my legal options?

Check out the advice I gave to a woman who was terminated while pregnant. — CC

Nine To Five: Special to The Globe and Mail, Published January 9, 2017


I am 6 1/2 months’ pregnant and, due to complications, my doctor suggested I go on sick leave before maternity leave. I offered to continue working for the company remotely and they agreed I could do so, for six weeks. However, I was terminated two weeks later without cause. I received severance, but am left without health insurance. I had been with the company for three years. I signed a full and final release, and think maybe I should not have. When is the due date for filing a claim, if I have a case?


I am deeply sorry for your misfortune. What a cheap shot by the company! This is not the time to be job searching and you won’t feel like it while being a new mom, so put everything, including your resentment, on the back burner for the time being.

Get your resume updated so you are ready to roll when you decide to go back to work. Set a date for when you plan to return because time will fly by and procrastination can be your enemy. Build in a plan to start your job search at least three months before your return date. Start your job search mentally before you start physically.

Scroll Internet job sites for positions and register with recruiters a few months before you start back. Take every advantage of all opportunities to network. Get your 30-second presentation honed so when you ask other moms about themselves you are prepared to share your expertise and what you are looking for. Tell your doctor, who sees a number of patients each week, what type of work you will be seeking.

Use the free services of an employee assistance program (EAP) through your husband’s company. They help with resumes, job-search strategies and can be someone to talk to while you are off, a mental-balance system for you.

Colleen Clarke
Career Specialist and Corporate Trainer

Author of Networking How To Build Relationships That Count and How To Get a Job and Keep It

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