Thousands of employees go through pregnancy discrimination at work every year. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces two laws that protect pregnant employees. These are Title VII and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Despite laws being in place, this discrimination type still happens. Here are four examples of pregnancy discrimination in the workplace:
1. Not hiring you because of pregnancy or possibility
If you are qualified for a position but are not hired because you are pregnant, you may have been discriminated against. However, it can be hard to know this, but any questions about your marital status and family planning should be big clues. If you’re already pregnant, the interviewer may have asked questions about how you plan on managing the job after the baby is born.
If they can’t inform you of anything relating to your qualifications, the chances are they decided based on your pregnancy.
2. Not providing reasonable accommodations
Workplaces without reasonable accommodations for pregnant employees may be discriminative. A workplace should change a pregnant employee’s work schedule and conditions, have realistic maternal and paternal policies and so on, to accommodate them comfortably.
3. Reduction of hours after a pregnancy is known
When you are pregnant and your work hours are reduced without your request, you may have been discriminated against. This reduces your income and can be a subtle message that you may be unable to handle your usual hours. An employer may reduce your hours to “keep you safe,” but it’s still illegal. Only your doctor should be limiting your work activities.
4. Termination soon after a pregnancy announcement
If your employer assumes you can’t handle your duties and decides to terminate your employment, that’s illegal — but it happens. Some people even feel that working mothers shouldn’t exist, and they act accordingly.
You can experience pregnancy discrimination at any stage of employment, from hiring to termination. It will help to learn more about your case to protect your rights.