Pregnancy discrimination is a type of employment discrimination that occurs when pregnant women are fired, not hired, or other discrimination due to their pregnancy or intention to get pregnant. Irrespective of the laws, employers have been observed to discriminate against women for pregnancy. However, if you or someone you know is under the situation, you do not have to tolerate injustice.
You can file a case against discrimination against your employer and get the compensation that will cover their filthy act with the help of an experienced Trenton employment attorney. Check their website here.
Examples of Pregnancy Discrimination at the Workplace
A pregnant woman or a woman planning to get pregnant is not hired:
An interviewer asking you questions about your childbearing plans is against the law. The interviewer may have a misperception that a pregnant woman or a mother cannot fully commit to a job because of their pregnancy or children.
Firing a woman because she is expecting:
Some managers believe that pregnant women cannot focus on their job, and the upcoming baby may interfere with their productivity. However, some managers fire pregnant women as the physical stress of the job can be harmful in case of a pregnancy. Either way, firing a pregnant woman is against the law and the employer should be held accountable.
Not providing a place to breastfeed the baby:
According to the law, pregnant women should get sufficient breaks to breastfeed their babies. Moreover, the place allotted for breastfeeding should be safe, secure, and private (not a washroom). If a company fails to do so, you are entitled to file a case against the company for violating your rights.
Hitting back against the pregnant female for filing a discrimination claim:
It is the most typical form of discrimination seen. the consequences of the action can vary from bad performance reviews to firing or demoting or physical or verbal abuse.
Commenting about one’s pregnancy is considered unethical and unlawful. Negative jokes, insults, comments, or intimidations can create a hostile work environment. For example, if your senior comments on how your pregnancy affects your work, this may be regarded as harassment.
If the manager refuses to provide reasonable accommodation:
If an employee is facing a high-risk pregnancy or cannot perform a task due to pregnancy, the employer is supposed to provide reasonable accommodation. The employer should give the woman the same benefits and advantages as other workers with disabilities or illnesses.
Steps to Take After Being a Victim of Pregnancy Discrimination at the Workplace
Discrimination, in any form, is unacceptable behavior, and the person should be held accountable for their actions. When you are going through pregnancy, things can be challenging as you need to take adequate care of yourself and the growing fetus in your womb.
However, if your employer or someone in the workplace is discriminating against you due to your pregnancy, you must take the following steps:
Speak to your HR
One of the most vital steps is to speak to your HR to report the incident. Your HR department deals with all the complaints about the workplace. Whether it is your employer or co-worker, report the incident to them. Additionally, make sure you tell the incident(s) in detail.
Whether you received a threat in your email or someone was passing offensive comments, make sure to gather sufficient evidence against the person. If you witness discrimination in a form that can be saved as evidence, make sure you print them and keep a few copies. Moreover, write down all the details, including the date and timing of the incident. Additionally, write as many details as you remember about the incident in a diary.
File a complaint
When your HR does not respond to your complaint and the discrimination is still ongoing, you can file a complaint about the discriminatory behavior with the U.S Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Remember, if your employer fired you for being pregnant, it could fall under wrongful termination, and you are obligated to file a complaint against them.
Speak to an employment attorney.
If you have zero legal experience, you may not be aware of your rights to a full extent. As soon as you feel you are being discriminated against in your workplace, speak to an attorney and let them guide you about proceeding with all the legal aspects.
Do You Need an Attorney to File a Complaint Against Pregnancy Discrimination at the Workplace?
While it is not a compulsion that you need an attorney to file a complaint, having a presence of an attorney can be helpful. You can file the complaint with EEOC without an attorney. However, when you discuss your case with an attorney, they can help identify your eligibility for the claim.
Additionally, if you are struggling to gather evidence against your employer, an attorney can be your best pick. They will assist in collecting sufficient evidence against the employer to make sure you are not denied compensation. Remember, getting compensation is never an easy process. There are plenty of legalities that one needs to go through.
Without experience, your employer may manipulate you not to file for a case. Furthermore, an attorney will carry out all the legalities on your behalf so that you will have enough time to take care of yourself. Sometimes, filing a complaint may backfire on your case. For instance, the employer will also have themself backed with an experienced attorney to defend themself and prove them guilty.
In many cases, employers try to cover themselves with numerous valid reasons for your termination, such as your poor performance or breaking the code of conduct set by the company. In such a situation, things may not fall in your favor. Therefore, an attorney will build a solid strategy against your employer with valid evidence and hold them accountable.
The negotiation process will also go easier with the presence of an attorney.
Suppose you or your partner has faced discrimination at the workplace due to pregnancy or pregnancy-related medical issues. Ensure to contact an experienced employment lawyer to fight for your rights and get you compensation for your sufferings.