When you’re telling your coworkers about your good news, discrimination may be the last thing that comes to mind. However, the sad truth is that many women are treated unreasonably – or even fired – after disclosing their pregnancy news. If you feel your rights are being violated at your workplace, talk to an employment discrimination lawyer Austin immediately.
Pregnancy discrimination is illegal in most workplaces.
Employers with 15 or more employees are prohibited from discriminating against women because of pregnancy, childbirth, abortion, or medical conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth under the federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 (PDA). Pregnant workers must be given the same benefits and accommodations as non-pregnant workers with similar work abilities or limitations. Pregnant workers are protected by laws in twenty-three states, the District of Columbia, and four cities. Unfortunately, illegal pregnancy discrimination persists in all states and industries, negatively impacting women’s employment, earnings, and opportunities. Knowing your rights is critical to protecting them, and we can all do our part to prevent and report pregnancy discrimination.
What does pregnancy discrimination include?
Employers are not permitted to discriminate against employees under the PDA because of the following:
- Whether a person is pregnant, has been pregnant, or has the possibility of being pregnant;
- Whether a person has had an abortion or is thinking about having one; or
- Whether a person has a pregnancy or childbirth-related medical condition.
Some examples of pregnancy discrimination can be:
- Being fired, turned down for a job, or revoked job opportunities.
- Being demoted or denied a promotion, being given a less favorable schedule, having your pay reduced, or facing other adverse actions.
- Experiencing workplace harassment (whether by coworkers, supervisors, or customers).
- Being forced to stop working or take leave due to any of the conditions listed above, even if the person is still capable and willing to work.
- Being denied decent workplace accommodations for pregnancy or related medical conditions if other workers with similar limitations or disabilities receive them.
What should you do if you face pregnancy discrimination at work?
If you believe you have faced workplace discrimination because of your pregnancy or a related condition, you should:
- Make a note of what happened.
- Examine the company’s policy.
- If it feels safe, discuss the discriminatory incident or consequence with a supervisor.
- Complain by filing an official complaint.
- Submit a formal complaint to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
- Consider filing a lawsuit or speaking with a lawyer about how your rights have been violated and what you can do to protect them.
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