Executive Summary

Date Published: November 21, 2022

Written by: Howard Levitt & Shloka Saini

Looking to fire a pregnant employee? Proceed with extreme caution or else you may have a human rights complaint on your hands. Terminating an employee because she is pregnant falls under sex discrimination which is a protected ground under the Ontario Human Rights Code. The legal test for proving that an employer has terminated a pregnant employee because of her pregnancy is not a hard one to fulfill. The employee must prove that her pregnancy was the reason for her termination, whether in whole or even in part. The proof must be on a “balance of probabilities.” This means that it was more than likely that the employer terminated the employee because she was pregnant, not that her pregnancy was the only factor in the termination. So long as her pregnancy played any role in the termination, she would succeed in proving that the employer violated the Code. In this article, Howard Levitt and Shloka Saini discuss the termination of pregnant employees and outline some of the key considerations that employers should keep in mind before deciding to terminate pregnant employees.

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