In today's progressive society, workplace discrimination should be an anomaly, but unfortunately, it persists. Pregnancy discrimination is one form that continues to affect many working women. For Kesluk, Silverstein, Jacob & Morrison, our commitment is to help those who have faced discrimination in the workplace, particularly during pregnancy. This blog post highlights the importance of gathering evidence for a robust pregnancy discrimination claim.
Understanding Pregnancy Discrimination
Before delving into the evidentiary aspects, it's essential to understand what constitutes pregnancy discrimination. Pregnancy discrimination occurs when an employer treats a woman unfavorably because of pregnancy, childbirth, or a medical condition related to pregnancy. This can include adverse actions such as termination, demotion, denial of promotion, or even unequal pay based on pregnancy.
Documenting the Discrimination
The cornerstone of any discrimination claim is evidence. In the context of pregnancy discrimination, it's vital to document instances of differential treatment. This documentation includes keeping a detailed record of any conversations, emails, or incidents related to the discrimination. This evidence can be invaluable when building a case, offering a clear timeline of events that establishes a pattern of discrimination.
Maintaining a Record of Job Performance
Another critical aspect of building a solid pregnancy discrimination claim is demonstrating that the adverse treatment is inconsistent with the employee's performance. Maintain a job performance record, including positive feedback, performance appraisals, and any awards or recognition received. This documentation can help establish that the adverse actions taken against you are unrelated to your capabilities and are instead rooted in pregnancy discrimination.
In many instances, coworkers or supervisors may have observed discriminatory behavior. Gathering witness statements can significantly strengthen a pregnancy discrimination claim. Encourage colleagues who have witnessed discriminatory acts to provide written statements detailing their observations. These statements can serve as robust corroborating evidence, lending credibility to your case.
Medical Records and Accommodation Requests
Medical records play a crucial role in establishing a pregnancy discrimination claim. Document any pregnancy-related medical conditions, doctor's appointments, and prescribed accommodations. If you have requested reasonable accommodations due to pregnancy-related medical conditions, keep records of these requests and any responses from your employer. This documentation helps establish that your employer knew about your pregnancy and associated needs.
Comparative evidence demonstrates that other employees in similar situations were treated more favorably. This information can be powerful evidence of discrimination if you can identify colleagues who received preferential treatment despite being in comparable circumstances. Keep an eye out for discrepancies in how the company has treated pregnant employees compared to their non-pregnant counterparts.
Unfortunately, some employers may retaliate against employees who raise concerns about discrimination. If you experience retaliation after asserting your rights, document these instances meticulously. Retaliation can take various forms, such as negative performance reviews, demotions, or even termination. By providing evidence of retaliation, you further strengthen your overall discrimination claim.
Consulting with Legal Professionals
In navigating a pregnancy discrimination claim, seeking legal advice is crucial. Experienced employment discrimination attorneys can assess your case, guide you through the legal process, and help you compile the necessary evidence. They bring a wealth of knowledge to ensure your claim is well-supported and effectively presented.
Building a strong pregnancy discrimination claim requires a meticulous and strategic approach to evidence gathering. Individuals can strengthen their cases by documenting discrimination instances, maintaining job performance records, collecting witness statements, and consulting with legal professionals. Kesluk, Silverstein, Jacob & Morrison is dedicated to helping those who have experienced pregnancy discrimination, and we believe that everyone deserves a workplace free from discrimination and bias.
Contact Kesluk, Silverstein, Jacob & Morrison today to learn more!