I’m pregnant. What are my rights as a worker?

5. Know what to do if your employer doesn’t respect your rights

Employers are not allowed to discriminate against you for reasons that go against your human rights. So your employer can't discriminate against you because you're pregnant or have children.

The law also says your employer can’t punish you for acting on your rights as a worker.

Acting on your rights as a worker includes:

  • telling your employer you need to take pregnancy or parental leave
  • taking pregnancy or parental leave
  • coming back to work after your leave

Things employers are not allowed to do

Your employer can't punish you for acting on your rights as a worker or discriminate against you by:

  • firing you
  • suspending you
  • disciplining you
  • transferring you to another position
  • reducing or changing your hours
  • not giving you a raise or other benefits
  • harassing or threatening you
  • intimidating or bullying you

If your employer does any of those things to punish you for acting on your rights, this is called a .

It's also against your human rights if your employer does any of those things because you're pregnant or have children.

Your options

You may be able to make a claim to the Ministry of Labour if you were punished because you stood up for rights that Ontario's gives workers. This includes the right to pregnancy leave.

You may be able to make a human rights claim at the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario if your employer discriminated against you for a reason that goes against your human rights. For example, they might have discriminated against you because you're pregnant or have children.

If the Ministry or the Tribunal decides that your employer broke the law, they can order that the employer:

  • pay you money
  • give you a job
  • change their practices so they follow the law

If you were fired, you might also be able to sue your employer in court.

Getting legal help

It's important to get legal advice to help you decide what to do.

You can get free legal advice and information about your human rights from the Human Rights Legal Support Centre.

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