I had my 2 year review just a few weeks ago. No I didn't see shooting stars and fireworks, but nothing was eluded to along such dire veins, and certainly nothing resembling extreme performance dissatisfaction (which they still hold firm wasn't the case). Of course, he had said he was unhappy with "where marketing was at lately", but so had I, and although he may not want to be honest with himself about the symptoms (mainly, his lack of involvement and dedication to get things done on his end, which made everything back up), we agreed to at least some new solutions and he walked out of there smiling and we had a plan moving forward. So then couple that with the fact that I was due to be absent for at least 6 weeks at the most important time of the year (the beginning), I’m sure they figured, may as well explore another avenue and get a fresh start, and do it now before anyone can question the motive.
Ya it’s illegal, but not provable, so what can I do? Get a lawyer like everyone is suggesting? I'm not sure I want to bother going down that road. Partly because I'm fuzzy on how I feel about suing, in any circumstance (I mean, strongarming someone because you feel treated unfairly is a bit of low-stooping, and why play dirty just because they did), and partly because it's a hassle. Except that it’d be a bit sweet tasting since I’m pretty pissed my boss didn’t have the balls to confront me himself. Smiled right to my face during our regular weekly meeting the day before. What a coward.
So really what protection do we have? As someone being discriminated against and yet unable to do anything about it because there's no paper-proof. I mean, yes I can tell them what physical signs I got... the fact that when I told my boss (against all the suggestions in books and online to try and hide it from an employer as long as physically possible) he didn't smile, didn't really respond, didn't even give me a freaking congratulations. The fact that he did not ONCE ask me how I was doing the last 3 months, when everyone else in the entire company (40), minus a few brought it up to me... I mean, it's the considerate normal thing to do when you see a pregnant woman! Oh, and then there's the little episode in the conference room a few weeks ago. When I mentioned wanting to get 2011 plans underway early and set because I'm going to be gone the first few weeks in January, he literally slammed both his hands down on the desk, yells "Fine! Get it done then!" and storms out of the meeting, out of nowhere. Ya, those things. But nah, I'm sure my pregnancy had nothing to do with it, right? I mean, if it were really lack of funds or company restructuring, why not outsource to ME, or cut my hours, or tell me they have to cut my wages, or at the very least, ask me to help them transition? Why say that they don't want to "burn bridges" (ya, that's not shady-talk) and that they can be a reference for me, and even help me network to find me a new placement, yet not respond to my email when I try taking them up on it? Why "escort me out" and not let me get my things; tell me they'll mail them to me (which, by the way, is so unbelievably invasive and degrading). No, there's really no other logical reason. And it's interesting, since telling friends and acquaintances about it, the most common reply I've heard so far has been: Oh my friend[s] so and so got laid off while they were pregnant, too, also out of nowhere! This really isn't coincidence people. It's a problem.
The only real "solution" I can offer to anyone pregnant and working and reading this, is: Take the advice of all the other stuff you've read, and DO NOT DISCLOSE until absolutely unavoidable any longer. I mean, first of all, it's a private matter, and it's none of their business for most of the pregnancy, until it gets right down to it. Honestly, if it were possible, I think it should be treated just as someone quitting would treat it. Two weeks notice. If that's enough time to give the company to get themselves together to find a permanent replacement for you, it's definitely plenty of time for them to find a temporary replacement.