No workplace is perfect. There are a lot of problems as well as toxic people that an employee may encounter in any office setting. However, some bigger issues like gender discrimination, casteism, and racism should never be tolerated.
Pregnancy discrimination is just one of the things women commonly face at work. A lot of women experience prejudice from their employers all over the world just because they’re pregnant or are working mothers. Because of this, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) was enacted in 1978 to protect pregnant employees from such discrimination. Pregnancy discrimination was categorized as sex discrimination by the PDA under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, making it illegal for employers to discriminate based on pregnancy.
Even though there’s already a law that prohibits employers from discriminating against pregnant women, some are still not abiding and women still continue to encounter such discrimination. Pregnancy discrimination exists when women (job applicants or existing employees) are handled unfairly because of their pregnancy, delivery, or different comparable circumstances.
Different Ways to Combat Pregnancy Discrimination at Work
Know your rights and law
As a woman in the corporate world, understanding and being aware of applicable labor laws is the best approach to avoid pregnancy discrimination in your workplace. There are also additional state laws you need to be aware of that protect the rights of pregnant women. Businesses, no matter how small or large, must give pregnant women the same equal opportunities and fair treatment as other employees or job applicants. Otherwise, they will be held legally liable.
Be familiar with your employee handbook
Different corporations have specific policies, and your agency’s size would possibly affect things like whether you are included in the Family and Medical Leave Act, which allows qualified employees to take paid leave during maternity. Take time to understand your employee manual and ask in case of doubts. Being acquainted with your employee handbook is a good way to shield yourself from being discriminated against or when taking any form of maternity leave.
Seek and gather evidence
Pregnancy discrimination complaints, like any other complaints against an employer, rely on evidence to prove a case. To be successful along with your declaration, you need to provide evidence that explicitly states you were treated differently than other employees, and that the difference in treatment changed because you’re pregnant. Evidence in discrimination complaints is probably direct or circumstantial.
Ask for help from a reputable pregnancy discrimination lawyer
Legal professionals can assist pregnant workers in knowing their rights, which vary depending on the number of employees a business enterprise has, length of employment, and other factors. When employers violate these rights, a lawyer can help clients acquire reimbursement and represent them in court if needed. Lawyers specialize in different areas of the law that is why it’s important to consult ones that specialize on your specific need. Since you’re dealing with pregnancy discrimination, then a pregnancy discrimination lawyer is what you need. You can ask your friends or family for referrals. You could also ask your local Bar Association for recommendations or look online for lawyers or firms with great reviews. When searching online, you can type in “pregnancy discrimination lawyers near me” to find ones near your area as they’re more knowledgeable in the laws your state has.
The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) prohibits employers from discriminating against pregnant employees, as well as those that have already given birth, in all areas of employment such as hiring, firing, promotions, layoffs, assignments, and fringe benefits. If you face any discrimination due to being pregnant, know that there are laws to protect you so don’t be afraid to speak up or contact the right people to help you file a complaint or a case in court. Just make sure to be prepared and have enough knowledge to combat the situation.