When an employer treats a pregnant woman in an unfavorable manner or displays prejudice against her, pregnancy discrimination is in effect. If you believe that you are a victim of this behavior, it is essential to consult with a pregnancy discrimination lawyer.
Recognizing Pregnancy Discrimination in the Workplace
There are various forms of pregnancy discrimination.
- When an employer refuses to hire a pregnant woman
- Demoting, firing, or refusing to promote a pregnant woman
- Purposely cutting a pregnant woman’s hours or workload
- Interference or imposing discipline for requests relating to time off for pregnancy-related appointments
Other Discriminating Questions
An employer is not permitted to make comments or to ask questions regarding an employee’s pregnancy or child-related issues. This may be considered discriminatory behavior. Here are a few examples.
- Do you have children?
- Are you planning on starting a family?
- Would you return to work after maternity leave?
- Do you use birth control?
Identifying an Example of Pregnancy Discrimination
Melissa is pregnant and applies for a job as a restaurant server. She meets all of the requirements of the job and is one of the few people who are asked to meet with the restaurant owner. When she arrives for her interview, she is bombarded with questions about her health and her pregnancy but is never asked about her qualifications. This raises red flags, especially when Melissa is not offered the position. She has been a victim of pregnancy discrimination.
In another instance, Melissa is already employed by the restaurant and gets pregnant. She explains to her manager that she must make an appointment with her doctor. Her manager gets upset and demands that these types of plans must be made during her time off. Also, her manager suddenly lowers Melissa’s hours and does not give her a due promotion. This is another example of pregnancy discrimination.
This Type of Behavior is Illegal
It is quite common for pregnant women to experience discrimination in the workplace. However, this behavior is against the law. If you feel like you have been a victim of pregnancy discrimination, it is vital to seek assistance from an experienced law team. Our attorneys have deep commitments to helping women fight for their rights in the workplace.
Rights Associated with the Pregnancy Discrimination Act
The Pregnancy Discrimination Act was created to protect the rights of women in the workplace. It includes a number of practices and benefits that encourage equality and apply to both married and single females.
- Hiring. This act stops an employer from refusing to hire a woman who is pregnant.
- Pregnancy and Maternity Leave. Employers must treat pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions the same as other medical issues. Also, employers must let pregnant employees perform their job duties and cannot force them out of the office for a set period.
- Health Insurance. Any health insurance that is provided from a business must cover medical expenses that are related to pregnancy. Also, an employer can’t impose a larger deductible for pregnancy-related coverage.
- Other Benefits. If an employer offers fringe benefits to workers who are on leave from the workplace, including telecommuting privileges, the employer must offer the same benefits to pregnant women or women who are enjoying maternity leave.
Working with an Experienced Pregnancy Discrimination Attorney
If you are a pregnant woman, you deserve fair treatment at work. The attorneys at our law office will help explain your rights and recommend the best course of legal action. If you feel as though you have been a victim of pregnancy discrimination, call our office today.