Although pregnancy should be a time to celebrate a new life and the growth of your family, it can be tough if you work in an environment where you’re not getting the support you need. Pregnancy discrimination can hurt your career prospects and even result in a wrongful termination, which is something you should be aware of.
An amended portion of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, now addresses pregnancy and childbirth, as well as related conditions. It is unlawful for employers to discriminate against employees who are pregnant or affected by pregnancy.
You must be treated equally in the workplace
It is a requirement that all pregnant women are treated the same as others in the workplace who have similar limitations or abilities. Your employer is not allowed to refuse to hire you because you’re pregnant at the interview. They may not fire you for becoming pregnant or discriminate against you because of a pregnancy.
If someone cannot do their job because of pregnancy, employers are required to treat them like any other employee with a temporary disability. As long as pregnant employees can do their jobs, they must be allowed to continue to do so. Even if a pregnant employee misses work because of a pregnancy-related condition, an employer cannot ban her from returning to the job.
Finally, when you do take time off for childbirth, your employer is not allowed to close your position unfairly. They must hold it open for as long as they do for other employees with sick leave or disability leave.
What can you do if you’re discriminated against on the job?
If you believe that you’ve been discriminated against due to pregnancy, it’s important for you to write down or keep copies of discriminatory events or communications. Keep those in a safe place. Those documents should go to your attorney, so that they can review them and help you make a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. It is unfair for women to face pregnancy discrimination, and it should be addressed immediately if it occurs.