Pregnancy discrimination in the workplace occurs when a pregnant person, whether a job applicant or an employee, is treated unfavorably when compared to others at work.
This includes when hiring, firing, level of pay, type of job assignments, refusal to offer promotions, being laid off, not being offered further training and being denied fringe benefits such as health insurance and leave. Federal law, such as the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA) states that pregnancy discrimination is illegal and a victim may be able to file a claim for compensation if she is able to find sufficient evidence.
What Is Pregnancy Discrimination?
Pregnancy discrimination, or maternal discrimination, is illegal in the workplace under federal law, in the same way that it is unlawful for an employer to discriminate against employees or job applicants who have protected status based on gender, color, race, national origin, disability and age.
The employer cannot refuse a pregnant employee a pay rise, fire, refuse promotion and any other action that has treated the pregnant worker unfavorably compared to other workers in the same job.
How to Prove Pregnancy Discrimination
To win a pregnancy discrimination case, you must be able to show that you were treated differently from other employees in similar jobs based on your pregnancy.
Sometimes it is easy to prove if an employer openly states that the employee's pregnancy status was taken into consideration when deciding on promotion even though this action is illegal.
Often this doesn’t happen, so the burden of proof lies with the victim. There has to be a pattern to the acts of discrimination due to your pregnancy and not just a one off incident.
This means getting fellow workers to provide eye witness statements showing you were being treated differently due to your pregnancy status.
Evidence to Prove Pregnancy Discrimination
If you were fired and the employer said it was due to performance issues but employees in a similar situation were handed written warnings only, you should suspect your firing is due to your pregnancy and you can use the treatment of other employees as evidence.
Also if you were fired not long after your employer got to know you were pregnant this is a good reason to suspect pregnancy discrimination.
A further example is when you are fired if you are pregnant and you are told the company needs a more qualified person but your replacement is no better qualified than yourself.
You will need to support your pregnancy discrimination claim with evidence such as statements from co workers who can see you have suffered pregnancy discrimination or maternal discrimination.
Get Help With Your Pregnancy Discrimination Claim
Confronting an employer because you believe it has subjected you to pregnancy discrimination is never easy but if you take the free case evaluation to speak with an attorney you should get the help you need to prove your pregnancy discrimination.
The attorney will help you get the compensation you deserve for being a subject of pregnancy discrimination whether this is wages you have lost or compensation for the pain and suffering you have experienced due to pregnancy discrimination.