Pregnancy discrimination occurs when someone is treated unfavorably due to their pregnancy or a medical condition related to childbirth. It is unlawful to discriminate against anyone based on pregnancy in any aspect of employment, including hiring, pay, promotions, employee benefits, and the firing processes.
In essence, limitations caused by pregnancy can be equated to a temporary disability. In that case, the employer should provide reasonable accommodation like flex time, seating arrangements or other modifications to enable the employee to continue working.
Pregnancy harassment is also unlawful
It is against the law to harass an employee due to pregnancy or any other medical condition related to childbirth. Harassment is unlawful when it is so frequent and severe that it creates a hostile work environment that prevents victims from discharging their work duties as required.
Other workplace laws provide additional rights
Pregnant employees have additional rights under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). For example, they may be eligible for a 12-week leave to be used in caring for the child. Nursing mothers in the workplace may also have the right to express milk under the Fair Labor Standards Act provisions.
Are you a victim of pregnancy discrimination
If you feel that you have been discriminated against at your workplace because of your pregnancy status, it is essential to safeguard your legal rights. The law protects you, but it is equally worthwhile to know the steps to correct the situation. If the problem cannot be resolved amicably between you and your employer, you can file a discrimination lawsuit that may end up providing you some relief.