Getting pregnant can be an amazing time in your life. You’re building your family and looking forward to having your child in your arms.
Unfortunately, some workplaces did not used to see pregnancy as a positive thing, so the Pregnancy Discrimination Act had to be put into place. The PDA makes it illegal to discriminate against a woman who is pregnant. This includes banning discrimination during the hiring process, when considering promotions or layoffs and with any other aspect of employment.
The Pregnancy Discrimination Act protects women with temporary disabilities
Sometimes, pregnancy makes it so that a woman cannot complete her job temporarily. This may be a result of the medical condition related to the pregnancy or because of childbirth. In that case, the employer must still treat her like any other temporarily disabled employee.
The employer may need to assign her to light duty tasks, to provide alternative assignments, to provide unpaid leave with job protection or to offer disability leave. Additionally, some impairments that come from pregnancy, like gestational diabetes, could fall under the protection of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Employers need to provide reasonable accommodations for workers with disabilities, such as providing more regular meal breaks or making arrangements to allow the employee to work from home.
Harassment of pregnant women is not allowed
Remember that the harassment of pregnant women is not allowed. No one should be mocking you, making jokes at your expense, threatening you or otherwise making you feel intimidated for being pregnant while at work.
Pregnancy discrimination causes an offensive, hostile work environment, which is not allowed by law. If this happens to you, you do have a right to talk to the human resources department to report the harassment. If it doesn’t stop, then you may want to talk to your attorney about your legal options.
Pregnancy should not mean that you have to put up with being treated differently. If you are putting up with an unfair work environment, weren’t promoted because you wanted a family or faced other unfair discrimination, you need to speak up and look into your legal rights and options moving forward.