Ideally, pregnancy should not affect your career path since you expect your knowledge, performance, or experience to speak on your behalf. Unfortunately, it’s not the case for many women in the workforce around the country.
Pregnancy discrimination is still rampant despite it being against the law. Sometimes, it happens so subtly that victims are unaware that their rights have been infringed upon.
Forms of pregnancy discrimination
Activities that involve unfavorable treatment to women based on their pregnancy, childbirth, or related conditions are a form of pregnancy discrimination. The law requires employers to treat pregnant employees the same way they treat those with temporary disabilities.
Discrimination based on pregnancy can occur in any of the following scenarios.
- Not being hired for a role or missing out on a job promotion because you are pregnant
- Being dismissed from a job after your employer found out you are pregnant
- A denial of reasonable temporary accommodation to a pregnant employee such as exemption from some heavy duties
- Inappropriate comments about pregnancy made by your boss or employer, among others
Are you a victim?
If you have been discriminated against at your workplace based on your pregnancy, it is important to take corrective action. You may start by raising the issue formally with your employer. In some cases, this is enough to rectify the situation, but if not, it may be time to explore your other options.
For instance, you could file a discrimination charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Depending on the circumstances of your case and the evidence you provide, you may be entitled to recover damages such as lost wages or even get your job back. The most important thing is being aware of your legal rights as a pregnant employee and safeguarding them.