Pregnancy discrimination: Illegal in the United States

On Behalf of | Nov 23, 2021 | Employment Law |

Working a busy job, you know how important it is for you to be there and to complete work on time. When you got pregnant, you immediately noticed that your employer started making comments about how you weren’t going to be able to keep up.

You made adjustments, and everything was going well. Then, you started having issues with your pregnancy and had to take time off. This time off is protected, but despite that, your employer reduced your hours upon your return. They also made it clear to you that they were unhappy that you had to miss time from work and that they weren’t going to give you the additional breaks you were told to take to make your day easier.

When employers are discriminatory, their actions negatively impact the entire workplace

Behaviors like this are against the law and seriously hurt the workplace. Discriminating against those who are pregnant is a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This act states that employers are not allowed to make decisions about promoting, hiring or firing workers based on the fact that they are pregnant or have medical conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth.

Employers are restricted in how they may approach pregnant workers. They may not:

  • Refuse to hire someone because of pregnancy
  • Require pregnant workers to go through special procedures to determine if they can do their job (unless all workers have to go through these)
  • Treat someone differently than other temporarily disabled workers because they had a pregnancy-related condition that kept them from completing their job duties
  • Require pregnant workers to pay more for health insurance
  • Prohibit employees who are pregnant from returning to work after giving birth or working while pregnant

It is a reality that many workplaces have employers who treat pregnant employees differently. They may believe that these employees can’t get their work done or that they are less valuable than others. That kind of unfair assumption makes a workplace toxic and is unacceptable.

If you’re discriminated against for being pregnant, speak out. You have a right to work in a safe, respectful work environment.