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2 tricks employers use to demote pregnant employees

Unfortunately, pregnant employees experience discrimination in the workplace. The California Family Rights Act (CFRA) requires employers to provide employees disabled by pregnancy, childbirth, adoption or related medical conditions with accommodations. However, some fail to do so.

Instead, they may demote them or take their responsibilities away. Here are two tricks some employers use:

Acting in an employee’s “best interest” 

An employer may act like they have an employee’s best interest by reducing their workload or transferring them to a less demanding department with low pay. However, only your doctor should inform you when to take it easy. Your employer should not make this decision, more so without your request.

If this happens, you may have experienced pregnancy discrimination. And in most cases, they will replace your position, which can worsen the situation, as you may not be sure if you will reclaim it when you return from your leave.

Recommending an earlier leave 

Another trick an employer can use to demote or take your responsibilities is asking you to take maternity leave sooner. Your employer should not force you to take your leave. Instead, they should provide accommodations that allow you to work without difficulties. These include: 

  • Having frequent and prolonged breaks 
  • Making your work schedule flexible to attend doctors’ appointments 
  • Ability to sit frequently 
  • Permission to have snacks and drinks in your workstation

Further, when your leave ends, you should resume working smoothly. It can be unlawful for your employer to ask you to stay longer when you are ready to return.

Demoting a pregnant employee or asking them to take their leave sooner may constitute pregnancy discrimination. If your employer has treated you unfairly due to your pregnancy status, you may need to get legal help to protect your rights.