Having to fire an employee isn’t easy. You may like them as a person but know that they just aren’t suited for the position they’re in. If that employee has a disability or is pregnant, then you may be concerned that you’ll be accused of firing them for discriminatory reasons.
The truth is that it is totally legal to fire someone who has a disability or who is pregnant, but you need to make sure that the reason you are terminating them is not based on a disability.
For example, if you have an employee who has gotten pregnant but who also has a history of poor work or being late, then you can use the documented history that you have collected to show why they are being fired and that it has nothing to do with them being pregnant.
How can you protect yourself against a claim that you discriminated against the terminated employee?
To really protect yourself, the best thing you can do is keep good documentation. If you write up an employee, keep copies. Make sure they understand that they have done something wrong. Offer them training to see if they can improve.
If the employee keeps making mistakes time and time again, then you should have a solid record of all of the issues that you had with them. If they claim that they have been discriminated against, you will be able to pull out documents to show a history of disciplinary action and trouble with the employee unrelated to their disability.
If you are truly concerned about firing someone with a disability or who is pregnant, you may want to speak with your attorney first to make sure that you have enough documentation to protect yourself.