Pregnancy is an exciting time in a woman’s life. However, it can also be a time when some women face discrimination in the workplace.
Understanding pregnancy discrimination and your rights is crucial to ensuring a fair and equitable work environment during this important phase of life.
What is pregnancy discrimination?
Several situations may indicate pregnancy discrimination. Examples include treating an employee differently because they are:
- Dealing with a pregnancy-related medical issue
- Trying to get pregnant
It can take various forms, such as firing, demoting or denying promotions to a pregnant employee or refusing to provide reasonable accommodations. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) makes it illegal for employers to discriminate in this manner.
As mentioned, pregnant women have the right to reasonable accommodations. If your pregnancy-related condition makes it difficult to perform certain job tasks, your employer is obligated to provide accommodations that allow you to continue working comfortably. This could include adjustments to your work schedule, changes in job duties or providing a more accessible workspace.
Your legal options
If you believe you are a victim of pregnancy discrimination, it’s essential to act. Start by documenting any incidents of discrimination, including dates, times and witnesses. Then, inform your supervisor or human resources department about the issue. If the problem persists, consider filing a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
Understanding pregnancy discrimination and your rights is vital to ensuring that you are treated fairly and equitably in the workplace. Familiarize yourself with the PDA and the protections it offers, and don’t hesitate to act if you encounter discrimination. You have legal rights and enforcing them will protect you and others who may be in your position in the future.