'Lawyer Up': Woman Fired After Asking About Maternity Leave Backed Online

The internet has backed a woman after she shared how she was fired after asking her employer about maternity leave.

On Tuesday, Reddit user u/canttellyou12345 posted the story on the forum r/tifu—which stands for Today I F***ed up. With more than 27,000 upvotes and thousands of comments, the internet was outraged.

The woman who said she lives in New York, explained: "My husband and I conceived in March and started to plan how we would handle the logistics of our first child since we both work full time.

"My husband works remotely and I work in an office. I wanted to be able to work remotely as well and go into the office as needed so that I can be at home with our baby."

But after scheduling a meeting with her boss to notify him she was expecting, the pregnant woman was told that she would not be given any maternity leave paid for by the company, only the 67 percent of her salary paid by the state for 12 weeks, and after that, she shouldn't bother returning to the office.

"Basically I was fired and given zero maternity leave," explained the woman: "I'm in shock. I really liked this place and thought they liked me too."

"Discrimination on the basis of pregnancy or pregnancy-related condition is prohibited in the state of New York," New York-based law firm A.Y.G Law Group said on its website. "It is governed by both state law and the federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act and victims are often able to recover compensation.

Prohibited discrimination can relate to a number of elements of employment including hiring, firing, pay rates, promotions, layoffs, training, benefits, and job assignments, A.Y.G's website said.

The federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act, which is an amendment to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the New York State Human Rights Law both protect pregnant women from such treatment in the workplace in New York.

Legislation is clear that pregnant women should be treated the same as any other employee. If someone is treated differently because of pregnancy, they may have the right to hold their employer accountable.

"Sounds like you have a lawsuit on your hands for discrimination," said one commenter on the now-viral Reddit post. While another said: "Sounds like these idiots might be paying you and your lawyer more than 67 percent of your salary for longer than 12 weeks."

"Definitely lawyer up asap," wrote one Redditor.

"I feel like there has to be more to this, or some misinterpretation happened," said another commenter: "There's no way an employer in New York is this dumb."

"Ask your boss to please send you an email with that information, that's an easy lawsuit with evidence," suggested another user.

Newsweek has reached out to u/canttellyou12345 for comment.

Pregnant woman at desk stressed
The internet has told a woman to "lawyer up" after she revealed how she was treated when asking about maternity leave. A file photo of a woman looking stressed and upset at her computer while working. Andrey Zhuravlev/Getty Images