Pregnancy discrimination is an unfortunate situation many women across the country find themselves in. Your employer might start relegating or diminishing your importance to the organization because of pregnancy, and your career could be negatively affected.
In such a case, you could be a victim of pregnancy discrimination, which is against the law. Read on to find out how you can go about protecting your rights.
Forms of pregnancy discrimination at your workplace
Pregnancy discrimination may start with spiteful remarks, some made jokingly, about your ability to do the tasks you used to do before. Soon after, it may escalate to a demotion, or even getting dismissed from your job.
Other changes you might notice include:
- A reduction in wages or benefits
- Reduced responsibilities with no reasonable explanations
- Being left out of employee meetings, unlike before
Your employer should provide reasonable accommodation
Failure to reasonably accommodate your needs may also be a form of discrimination in some cases. For instance, you could request your employer for favorable shifts if you require regular medical checkups or even transfer you to lighter duties if possible due to medical reasons. Should they decline your request, it could amount to discrimination.
Your employer is also not supposed to deny you leave days as a pregnant employee if you develop pregnancy complications that temporarily bar you from discharging your normal duties.
Taking action against pregnancy discrimination
Following your organization’s internal procedure for handling harassment or discrimination claims should be your first step. If nothing happens, you need to be aware of your options, including filing a discrimination charge with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) or even going to court.
The most crucial thing should be safeguarding your legal rights and getting compensation for any losses you suffered from the discrimination. Knowing what to do when this happens will help you hold your employer accountable for their actions and get justice.