Pregnancy is often an exciting time for many California women. However, when pregnancy discrimination happens in the workplace, it can be devastating.
What is pregnancy discrimination?
The Pregnancy Discrimination Act makes it illegal for employers to discriminate against pregnant employees or potential employees through any means, including termination, promotions, salary raises, health insurance, hiring and job duties.
Although workplace pregnancy discrimination is against the law, there are still employers who are guilty of it. Sadly, it’s believed that many instances of this type of discrimination go unreported.
What are examples of workplace pregnancy discrimination?
There are many ways an employer could commit pregnancy discrimination. One example is that an employer refuses to hire someone because they are pregnant or plan to have children. If a potential employer asks a woman during a job interview whether she plans to get pregnant, it should be taken as a red flag.
Employers cannot fire or lay off an employee due to pregnancy. Whether they do this due to believing the employee wouldn’t be able to continue putting in as much time toward the job or that the job might be detrimental to the person’s health, it’s illegal.
If an employee files a discrimination claim for pregnancy discrimination, their employer cannot retaliate against them for it. This is also illegal. Unfortunately, it happens frequently as one of the most common forms of pregnancy discrimination.
Pregnant employees are due reasonable accommodations just like employees with disabilities. If an employee is advised to remain mostly immobile due to a high-risk pregnancy, their employer must allow them to work from home. If it’s impossible for the same job duties to be performed, the job should be modified to accommodate the person.
It’s your right to fight back if you have faced pregnancy discrimination at work.