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How pregnancy discrimination occurs

On Behalf of | Dec 17, 2021 | Employment Law

It’s not uncommon for pregnant women to feel that they’re treated differently in the workplace in Rhode Island. Some employers may even view them as less capable workers or “risky” hires. If you feel like you’ve been facing discrimination at your workplace because of your pregnancy, here’s what you need to know.

What is pregnancy discrimination?

Pregnancy discrimination is when an employer treats a pregnant employee differently than other employees who are not pregnant. This form of discrimination can occur for any number of reasons. Sometimes, employers may get concerned that having women on staff will cost them more money in maternity leave benefits and lost productivity during the time off. Other times they might simply view pregnant women as a liability or “problem” that they don’t want to deal with.

Common forms of pregnancy discrimination

There are many ways that employers can discriminate against pregnant women. One of the most common ones is when an employer rejects an applicant because they’re pregnant or fires them for becoming pregnant. Pregnant women can also get passed over for promotions or given fewer hours than other employees. In some cases, employers force pregnant women to quit their jobs.

What should you do if you experience pregnancy discrimination?

There are federal and state laws that protect pregnant employees from discrimination in the workplace. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) is a federal law that prohibits employers from discriminating against workers based on pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. The law applies to all employers with at least 15 employees.

If you feel like your employer has discriminated against you because of your pregnancy, you can file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The EEOC is the federal agency that enforces anti-discrimination laws in the workplace. You can also file a lawsuit against your employer. However, it’s important to note that not all cases of pregnancy discrimination are successful. How you approach the process and present your case will have a big impact on the outcome.

If you’re pregnant and feel like you’re getting discriminated against at work, it’s important to know your rights. Thankfully, as you’ve seen above, there are steps you can take to ensure that you receive the right treatment at your workplace.