Discrimination against pregnant women is rampant in many forms across the United States. However, in some instances, it is very difficult to “pin down.” If your employer makes your position redundant, was this just a coincidence, or was it because you announced your pregnancy to the office last month?
It is important to understand the protections that the law offers pregnant women. According to the American Association of University Women, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act prohibits employers from discriminating against pregnant women.
What is the Pregnancy Discrimination Act?
Roundly, this Act prohibits a variety of different discriminatory tactics against pregnant women. For instance, an organization may not fire, promote, dock pay or give raises to an individual just on account of being pregnant. It also prohibits employers from discriminating against women who are pregnant or of childbearing age. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act also disallows any employer policies that disproportionately impact women who are pregnant or may become pregnant.
What else should I know?
In some cases, it is possible for places of employment to treat you differently if you are pregnant and unmarried. For instance, if you work for a religious organization, some courts say that the religion’s possible prohibitions against premarital sex may allow the organization to discriminate against you. However, in order for this to be legal, the organization must prove that it treats men engaging in premarital sex the same way.
Understanding your rights as a pregnant woman in the workplace is paramount. Remember that you do not have to tell any potential or current employers that you are pregnant. Employers may also not ask if you are pregnant or plan to have children in the future.