Top-Most Common Examples of Pregnancy Discrimination In The Workplace

The world has progressed, and humankind has come a long way in providing justice. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act protects pregnant women or women trying to start a family from being discriminated against in the workplace. The scope of the Act prohibits companies from discriminating in the process of hiring, firing, pay, job duties, health insurance, etc. 

The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission reported a 50% increase in pregnancy discrimination claims between 1997 and 2011. And this only constitutes the ones that have been reported. If you have been treated unfairly at the workplace, an Employee Survival Guide can provide helpful information regarding your rights. 

Common examples of pregnancy discrimination in the workplace.

  • Refusing to hire because of pregnancy.

The law strictly prohibits an employer or manager from making employment decisions about an employee or applicant based on their family status. It includes whether a person is married, has children, or has plans to have them. 

However, many employers carry the ill thought that pregnant women can not commit to work fully because of their children. This is the reason why employers often ask applicants about their family status during an interview, even though it is prohibited. 

  • Pregnancy-related harassment.

Pregnancy-related harassment is any kind of negative treatment or harassment of a woman worker in the workplace because of their pregnancy-related health condition or pregnancy and childbirth. 

Any person who mistreats pregnant women in the workplace, including colleagues, coworkers, or even managers, can be considered a harasser. Such an act is illegal under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act.

  • Refusing to provide reasonable accommodations. 

Pregnancy discrimination in the workplace can also take place if your manager refuses reasonable accommodation for any mental or physical impairments during your pregnancy. However, if you are not suffering from any disability due to your pregnancy, you do not need to ask for such accommodations. 

Make the request only if it is necessary. If your pregnancy prevents you from working at your full potential, your employer must make reasonable accommodations so that you can do your job better.

  • Getting fired because the woman got pregnant. 

Many employers fire their pregnant employees as they believe that their child will interfere with their job. Some do it for other reasons, as they believe that the nature of the job will affect you and your child’s health while you are pregnant. Whatever the reason may be for firing, both are prohibited by federal law.

  • Not letting you pump milk.

Pregnancy discrimination in the workplace can also occur if your manager does not allow you or provide a place to pump breast milk during your pregnancy. Employers must provide their pregnant employees with a private place that is shielded from view and free from invasion of coworkers or the public. It is important to know that the law only applies to companies who have 50 or more than 50 employees.


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