Pregnancy discrimination occurs when an employer treats a worker differently or denies them opportunities because they are expecting a child. Women who require medical accommodations and are visibly pregnant may face discrimination on the job.
Most women would logically assume that their risk for pregnancy discrimination will end with the birth of their child. Sometimes they will experience the lingering consequences of pregnancy discrimination when they want to return to work.
Their employer won’t accommodate them
The medical implications of pregnancy don’t end with birth. For many women, lactation follows. Some women will seek to quickly end their body’s production of breast milk because they don’t intend to breastfeed or pump milk for their child. Others may choose to promote lactation so that they can provide breast milk for their child.
Employers should comply with federal and California state laws by giving workers space and time to pump breast milk. Some companies will refuse to do so and effectively force a woman out of her job for the lingering medical implications of a recent pregnancy.
Their employer intends to punish them for taking leave
Women who have just given birth have the right to take leave under federal and California laws.
Some companies will retaliate against workers who assert these rights, demoting them, changing their shifts, reducing their pay or even firing them just for asserting their basic rights. You may try to go back to work, only to get fired in the first few days back or find yourself dealing with a different schedule or working in a different, lower-paying job.
Fighting back when you face pregnancy discrimination before or after the birth of your child can protect you and other women who might work for the company later.