Afraid I'll lose my job because I'm pregnant

by

June 28, 2017

Dear Pastor,

I am writing to you with the hope of getting a response soon. I have recently been hired by a company in a job within my field of study, after job hunting for some time now.

It has been one month now since I have been with the company. However, I have come to the realisation that I am pregnant. I know I will not be entitled to any maternity leave, at least with pay, as I have not been employed for a year.

The issue I am wondering about is whether or not my employer has grounds to dismiss me because I have not yet completed the 90-day probation period.

I found out about my pregnancy after I was hired. I was not aware before. I am in a very early stage of pregnancy and I have not informed anyone as yet.

I would like you to advise me as to what may become of this issue according to Jamaican laws, as my research has not made it clear to me. I am awaiting your response.

N.T.

Dear N.T.,

I know the first thing that you should do is to advise your employers that you are pregnant. Pregnancy by itself should not cause any employer to terminate the employment of any female employee.

However, you are on probation, and when a person is on probation, there are terms that are set out in his/her contract which make it clear that the employer may terminate an employee's employment without notice. And the employee may leave the job without giving notice, so to speak.

I am not an attorney but I am pretty sure that I am right in what I am saying. I repeat, talk to your employers. Who knows what they will do for you. I wish you well.

Pastor

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