As diverse as today’s work environment is, discrimination is still rampant among workplaces. One common discrimination is that related to pregnancy. This can manifest in many ways and it is essential to know these signs to properly address and combat pregnancy discrimination.
Evident and subtle discrimination signs
Pregnancy discrimination comes in many forms. Some are apparent, while others may not be so obvious.
Evident signs of pregnancy discrimination in the workplace include the following acts by an employer:
- Refusal to hire a well-qualified applicant after learning about their pregnancy
- Termination of an employee after their pregnancy announcement despite a good performance record
- Forcing a pregnant employee to take their maternity leave earlier than necessary or forcing them to extend their leave
- Denial of promotions or raises of a pregnant employee despite being well-qualified for such
- Denial of reasonable accommodations, such as frequent breaks
Less obvious signs of pregnancy discrimination include excluding a pregnant employee from meetings or projects, assuming that they can no longer participate or contribute and stereotyping pregnant employees to be less committed to their jobs due to their pregnancy or once they give birth.
Protection and remedies
Under federal and state laws, employees have the right to be free from discrimination based on pregnancy, which includes childbirth and related medical conditions. An employee experiencing pregnancy discrimination in the workplace can report the misconduct to their human resources department. They also have the option to file a complaint with the Florida Commission on Human Relations or the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
As a pregnant employee, it is useful for you to know your rights and remedies under the law. If you are confused with the law, seeking advice from a knowledgeable legal aid can help you find clarity to ensure your protection.