The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently received letters from six senators regarding discrimination allegations against the online retailer Amazon. According to the letters, Amazon routinely refuses to allow reasonable job modifications and generally mistreats its pregnant workers. This type of pregnancy discrimination can affect both a woman’s professional career as well as her physical and mental health.
A pattern of discriminatory behavior
The senators’ letters as well as prior EEOC complaints highlight multiple instances of Amazon mistreating its pregnant workers. Rhode Island women who work in fulfillment centers are especially vulnerable to discriminatory treatment. One 2020 complaint outlined a number of upsetting allegations, including that Amazon:
- Refused her job transfer request because of her pregnancy
- Penalized her for pregnancy related medical absences
- Contacted her doctor without authorization to try and alter her work restrictions
Amazon does not have a great history when it comes to taking care of its workers in general, either. The company regularly assigns its fulfillment workers with unrealistically high quotas to prevent them from taking any rests or breaks during work hours. This exceptionally high work pace is also linked to an increased number of worker injuries.
Like all other workers, pregnant women deserve dignity, respect and safety in the workplace. When companies choose to mistreat their pregnant workers instead, victims of pregnancy discrimination may decide to take action against their current or former employers. Successfully navigating a discrimination claim to completion can help victims secure compensation while also holding Rhode Island employers responsible for their actions.