In today’s workplace, 70% of women have children at home. However, even with more women in the workforce with children, pregnancy discrimination has also steadily increased. Below you will find a guide on how to spot pregnancy discrimination and how to defend against it.
Forms of Pregnancy Discrimination
Pregnant women in the workplace have the potential to be discriminated against in a number of ways that can affect the way they are treated, as well as even how their job functions. This discrimination can also occur at every turn in, whether it be during the hiring/interview process, during their employment, and even up to being terminated.
Discrimination During Hiring
Observing discrimination during the hiring process is certainly not limited to pregnant women, but it is fairly common. Although it is unlawful for a potential employer to refuse to hire an individual based on their pregnancy or if they ever plan to become pregnant, the issue still arises.
Potential employers are not allowed to ask interviewees if they ever intend to become pregnant while at the job, but many still do out of the false assumption they will take their entire focus off their job. Many women who may be visibly pregnant, or share they are pregnant, may be running the risk of a job denial for this reason.
Lack of Accommodation
Employers often fail to accommodate their employees for a variety of different circumstances, with pregnancy being no different. Being pregnant comes with meeting several physical and mental needs, whether it be going to doctor appointments or taking additionally needed breaks.
Other ways employers may fail to accommodate their pregnant employees can include:
- Denying light-duty tasks for physical jobs
- Not allowing the employee to occasionally sit down to rest
- Failing to provide equipment to aid their productivity
- Keeping them stationed near dangerous fumes or chemicals
Lack of accommodation does not stop when the child is born either. Some employees go so far as to not allow the mother to take the proper medical leave to recover from the pregnancy and take care of their newborn.
Job Function Changes
Not every shift in job duties is discriminatory, but they can be seen as bias toward pregnant workers in certain circumstances. Assuming a pregnant employee is no longer focused or “distracted” from their current job’s responsibilities, it is not unheard of for that employee to get demoted.
In more egregious cases, some employers may purposefully change their job duties assuming they are unable to perform them, even when they are, or even provide them with more difficult tasks in hopes it will pressure them to quit.
Contact the Team at Law Office of Jeffrey D. Fulton
Being pregnant can certainly be a challenging task on its own, and having to endure constant pressure and harassment in the workplace can only make it more stressful. If you are experiencing discrimination due to your pregnancy, consulting the experienced team at Law Office of Jeffrey D. Fulton can help hold your employer accountable for their actions and help you gain the compensation you deserve.
If you or a loved one is experiencing discrimination for their pregnancy, don’t hesitate to contact our office today at to schedule your free consultation.