Pregnancy Discrimination in the Workplace

Pregnancy discrimination against an employee or an applicant for a job may be based on different situations which could include any of the following:

  • past pregnancy;
  • potential pregnancy;
  • medical condition related to pregnancy or childbirth which includes breastfeeding;
  • having an abortion or deciding not to;
  • birth control, including contraception.

The EEOC enforces two federal laws that protect job applicants and employees who are pregnant. These are:

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Americans with Disabilities Act

These two laws cover a number of factors in the workplace related to pregnancy discrimination which include the following:

  • the selection process when hiring employees;
  • pay, job assignments, or promotions;
  • training and employee benefits;
  • being fired from a job;
  • having a reduction in hours;
  • being subject to a layoff;
  • employment termination.

If you have been a victim of discrimination because of a pregnancy, you can file a claim for pregnancy discrimination at work with the EEOC. If your claim is successful compensation could include out-of-pocket expenses caused by the discrimination. This may include money spent on searching for a job if you have been wrongfully terminated and compensation for any emotional harm you have suffered, such as loss of enjoyment of life.

Punitive damages may sometimes be awarded to punish the employer if it has committed a particularly malicious or reckless act of pregnancy discrimination.

Here are more pregnancy discrimination resources: