Wife being forced to part-time after she announced pregnancy.

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My wife has worked at a small private chiropractic office as an assistant chiropracter and receptionist for 3 years. There are only 4 employees there total and she is second from the top in seniority. The other 2 have only been there for a few months. She recently confessed that she was pregnant and would be requesting one day off a month for doctor's visits, but otherwise would continue working up until she gives birth 8 months from now. She was told that they would be hiring a new worker to replace her for her maternity leave when the time came. However, only 1 week later they told her that a new girl has been hired and will be taking 14 of her hours starting immediatly. This put my wife from 34 hours to 20 hours, an almost 60% decrease in pay, which makes us unable to live unless she finds a second job, I take on 2 jobs, or she quits altogether and finds a new job. Is this totally legal, and is there nothing that can be done legally to persuade her employer to give her back her total hours? My wife has not called in sick once in 3 years, nor has she even so much as missed an hour of work since becoming pregnant. Thank you in advance for your information.

-- Chad & Lisa A. Olivera (chadolivera@hotmail.com), January 24, 2005

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