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Pregnant women have protections in the workplace

For many women, being pregnant is a dream come true. In some cases in can feel as though nothing can bring them down. Unfortunately, this feeling can quickly be squelched when an employer does not respond well to the pregnancy and discriminates against her because of it. This happens even though the practice is illegal under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act.

Because pregnancy discrimination is forbidden under the PDA, a worker who feels that she has experienced discrimination as a result of her pregnancy could take legal action against her employer. Since this is usually a complicated process it is advisable to work with a lawyer in the matter.

Pregnancy discrimination can take many forms including:

  • Health insurance.
  • Fringe benefits.
  • Training.
  • Layoffs.
  • Promotions.
  • Job assignments.
  • Compensation.
  • Hiring.
  • Firing.

Not all pregnancies go the way a woman wants it to. Sometimes conditions that occur as a result of the pregnancy leave a woman disabled and in need of an accommodation to do her job. For example a condition such as preeclampsia or gestational diabetes could require either a leave of absence or modifications to be able to complete the tasks associated with their job. Assuming the required accommodations are not unreasonable, the failure to do them could result in an employee taking action against her employer as well.

A pregnant woman is more than just a mother to be. She has probably put a lot of time and energy into building a career. Accordingly, it is important for a pregnant worker to protect her rights.

Source: EEOC, “Pregnancy Discrimination,” Accessed Nov. 14, 2014

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