Women across the country face workplace discrimination after becoming pregnant. At a time when women are starting or adding to their families, they face the possibility of having their careers put on hold or destroyed. Employers guilty of workplace pregnancy discrimination rely on several tactics to justify firing, demoting, and mistreating pregnant workers. It is important to recognize the warning signs of pregnancy discrimination so you can take action and protect yourself.
- Poor performance reviews: The first thing employers may do is look for justification to demote, mistreat, or fire pregnant workers. Poor performance reviews are a common way they accomplish these goals. A study published by Southwestern University and Ohio State University claims poor performance reviews account for 30 percent of pregnancy discrimination terminations.
- Demotions: Many workers who experience pregnancy discrimination are demoted. They may be moved to lower positions shortly after becoming pregnant. This is often an attempt on the employer’s part to get the worker to quit voluntarily.
- Anti-pregnancy workplace policies: Employers may enact leave policies that specifically target pregnant workers. These policies may allow leave for work-related illnesses or injuries, but add barriers when taking leave for pregnancy.
- Failure to accommodate: Businesses guilty of pregnancy discrimination may fail to accommodate pregnant workers. Examples include not allowing breaks, or failing to switch duties to accommodate pregnancy.
- Termination: This is the ultimate sign for pregnant workers. Employers may fire workers right after they become pregnant.
What Options Are Available to Victims of Workplace Pregnancy Discrimination?
Workers targeted by pregnancy discrimination should immediately compile as much evidence as possible. This way, if pregnant workers are fired, demoted or harassed, they have stronger cases against their employers.
The Pregnancy Discrimination Act, an amendment to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, requires employers to treat pregnant women in the same way they treat other employees. Workers targeted by pregnancy discrimination can contact one of our Los Angeles labor law attorneys to explore possible legal options.