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No At-Will Public Policy Protection for Pregnant Workers
Description Pregnant worker was fired when she demanded a transfer to another position because of her pregnancy. Employer offered to treat her the same as any other employee who made such a request.
Topic Employment Law
Key Words At-Will, Public Policy, Pregnancy Discrimination
C A S E   S U M M A R Y
Facts Duncan's hospital job exposed her to radiation. When she became pregnant, she was afraid the radiation could be harmful. She requested a transfer to another position at the hospital, but was told that was not possible. She was told she could use unpaid leave during her pregnancy if she wanted, but she rejected that and, after using all her leave time, was fired. She sued, claiming wrongful discharge in violation of a "public policy of not exposing pregnant women to radiation." Trial court rejected her claim, she appealed.
Decision Affirmed. There was no violation of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act because Duncan was treated the same in conditions of employment regardless of her condition. "To the extent that Duncan has identified the public policy prohibiting discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, it militates against her cause." There is no at-will policy of discriminating in favor of pregnant workers.
Citation Duncan v. Children's National Medical Center, ---A.2d--- (1997 WL 703183, D.C. Ct. App.)
702 A.2d 207 (Ct. App., D.C., 1997)

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