Common Pregnancy Discrimination at Workplace

Pregnancy Discrimination

Despite laws introduced to end pregnancy discrimination at the workplace, thousands of women face employer discrimination related to their pregnancies every year. It is true for women working in low-wage occupations, high-wage jobs, or even workplaces dedicated to supporting women. Contact an employment lawyer in New Jersey if you or someone you know faces pregnancy discrimination at the workplace.

Pregnancy discrimination comes in many forms and circumstances. Following are some common examples of pregnancy discrimination.

Fired from current job or not being hired

Getting fired is one of the most common reasons women file complaints or charges of pregnancy discrimination. Firing happens when an employee informs the employer of a pregnancy or becomes aware of the pregnancy. The employer often discharges or demotes the employee, further treating them differently, making discriminatory comments about pregnancy, not granting upcoming maternal leave, etc. If you are experiencing unfriendliness or hostility when your employer learns about your pregnancy or did not hire you because of the same, it comes under pregnancy discrimination.

Failing to accommodate

A pregnant woman can suffer from health complications due to pregnancy. If the complication is severe and affects her ability to work, her employer must treat her like other temporarily disabled employees and accommodate her needs. If the employer allows unpaid leave to a disabled employee, they must also offer the same option to the pregnant woman.

Employer not providing maternity leave.

Many employers deny maternal leave for a woman if she is pregnant, even if the woman is legally allowed to take that time off. If you are pregnant, you have the right to take maternity leave, even though employers are not required to pay you during maternity leave.

Employers are not restoring the employee to their original roles.

Discrimination issue comes up when the employer who took maternity leave tries to return to work. Sometimes, the employer does not restore the employee to the same or a comparable position they had before the maternity leave. Employers must hold their job open during maternity leave. 

Refusing to provide private space for lactation needs

After returning from maternal leave, the employer should provide the woman a safe, private space to breastfeed or pump milk.

Employers refuse to provide leave for doctor visits.

Most pregnant workers need to take time off or a half-day leave to visit the doctor for prenatal care. But some employers refuse to provide rest even though others who can take leave quickly for medical treatment are not docked or disciplined.