Many pregnant people exist in the workforce and need their jobs in order to provide, but pregnancy discrimination can make working during this time even harder.
Pregnancy discrimination in the workplace involves the unfair or unfavorable treatment of an employee based on their pregnancy status. This type of employment discrimination can occur in any aspect of employment and is in direct violation of The Civil Rights Act of 1964 and The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978. While knowing your rights is incredibly important, it’s easy to become gas-lit and convinced you’re being overly sensitive due to hormones and changes in your body. That’s why it’s imperative to recognize the warning signs of pregnancy discrimination in the workplace.
Inappropriate Hiring Questions
Any questions regarding your current pregnancy status or intentions to get pregnant are illegal. In the same vein, asking about how many children you have or your current marital status may be an attempt to determine how much time you’ll give to your family or if you’ll need parental leave. These questions indicate that you may experience pregnancy discrimination if you work there.
Denial of Accommodations
Pregnancy is a medical condition, so employers should provide reasonable accommodations. This means schedule adjustments for doctor’s appointments, reduced physical labor, the ability to sit for standing jobs, and other accommodations that will enable you to do your job while pregnant. Unfortunately, denial of reasonable accommodations is one of the most common warning signs of pregnancy discrimination in the workplace.
Demotion or Termination
If you announce your pregnancy or are visibly pregnant, you should be wary of sudden demotions or termination. The timing here is critical. You may notice sudden or increased harsh criticism, a lack of training opportunities, or a rise in difficult assignments. These are likely attempts to force you out of your role or find excuses to demote you, all in an effort to put a non-pregnant person in your place. If this is the case, and your employer is not complying with the rules, then you need to contact employment lawyers like Scheid Cleveland. They are there to help you get the outcome you deserve during your pregnancy.
Any unwanted physical, written, or verbal derogatory comments on or about your pregnancy that make you feel unsafe or uncomfortable are wrong and should get addressed immediately. However, because pregnancy discrimination is a type of sex discrimination, these comments can bleed into the sexist territory. To protect yourself and make the workplace safer for future employees, report any discriminatory remarks or jokes based on sex, gender, or pregnancy status.