Discrimination is one of the unseen issues observed in different working environments. No one is protected despite age, color, group, race, sexuality and ethnic background. The effects of discrimination can be devastating and these might include experience of isolation or seclusion, unjust treatment and unjust salary. There are even instances that individuals are rejected and denied of employment for lack of strong reasons.
Understanding Pregnancy Discrimination
Pregnancy discrimination is one common type of discrimination that is prevalent these days. There are numerous pregnancy discrimination in the workplace cases that are cited these days. These cases revealed that countless women are now suffering from this unwanted practice. Many of them have in fact lost their jobs as soon as they told their bosses about their pregnancies.
Pregnancy discrimination happens when expectant women are not hired, fire or otherwise discriminated because of pregnancy. Common forms include being denied of employment because of visible pregnancy, being fired after telling employers that they are pregnant and after taking their maternity leave, receiving low salary during pregnancy and more. Employers often discriminate pregnant women due to the following reasons:
• Prejudices against mothers and working women.
• Fear of poor performance or productivity due to absenteeism.
• Insufficient resources or finances to give overtime pay or support to temporary employees fulfilling the duties during pregnant worker’s leave.
How Pregnant Employees Impact Employers
Few employers will obviously hire women who are pregnant because most of these employers believed that lots of time for absence or leave will be required .Pregnant women are expected to make regular visits to their doctors and this tends to interfere with the normal flow of work. Pregnant women might also leave the workplace for weeks or even months after the delivery of the baby because of the possibility of nursing their child. Many women who have been in this stage would agree that keeping your job when you are pregnant or looking for a new job sometimes both impossible.
To address pregnancy discrimination in the workplace, laws were ratified to give protection against pregnancy discrimination. Pregnancy Discrimination Act was amended and this prohibits discrimination due to child birth, pregnancy and other related health or medical condition. This act stops employers from treating pregnant women indifferently especially those who are working in their companies.
Dealing with pregnancy discrimination in the workplace is important and you can actually overcome this kind of discrimination on your own. You can do this by reviewing the employee handbook, documenting evidences and reporting incidents of harassment or discrimination to the management or HR department and contacting the labor department in your state for this can give you proper advice and recommendations in case you have been victimized by these practices.
You should also file a complaint properly and submit it to the right office or commission specializing in pregnancy discrimination in the workplace cases. It would also be best to talk to your lawyer and seek for possible legal actions you can take in order to stop being harassed and discriminated just because of pregnancy.
Natalie Regoli, Esq. is the author of this post and the editor-in-chief of our blog. She received her B.A. in Economics from the University of Washington and her Masters in Law from The University of Texas School of Law. In addition to being a seasoned writer, Natalie has almost two decades of experience as a lawyer. If you have any questions about the content of this blog post, then please send Natalie a message here.