Have you experienced discrimination at work because of a pregnancy? Sadly, this is a common occurrence in many occupations.
With this in mind, New York Magazine had a story recently penned by a woman who claimed that she was keeping her pregnancy a secret as long as possible. The woman claimed that she worked full-time as an office freelancer in the fashion industry. She claims that only a few of the women she works with have children, and that she is single and almost 22 weeks pregnant.
“Now, nearly three months into the job, the thought of announcing my pregnancy makes me feel like I have a lot to lose and very little to gain. So I haven’t said anything,” the author wrote. She described wearing heels, even though they hurt her feet, and “fake-sipping” champagne at a recent office holiday party.
She also claimed that a co-worker was fired two weeks after coming back from a pregnancy leave. “[T]he assumption [is] that moms-to-be suddenly are no longer interested in assignments that require late hours or travel,” the author wrote.
“This is the first time in my professional life I’ve ever truly felt I was truly navigating uncharted territory,” the woman wrote.
It should be noted that currently, there is an ongoing debate nationwide about pregnancy discrimination, as the Supreme Court has taken up the case of a former UPS employee who said the company would not accommodate her needs. The media is covering pregnancy discrimination cases dramatically.
What Should I Do If I Face Pregnancy Discrimination at Work?
It is sad that so many women out there feel like the author of this piece, and feel the need to hide their pregnancy over discrimination or retaliation concerns. If you believe that you are experiencing pregnancy discrimination, you should speak to an attorney. There are laws under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) that are designed to protect employees.
Make sure you pay attention to whether or not your employer is providing you accommodations, and make sure they are adhering to policies if you are pregnant. If you are experiencing issues, you can always contact our attorneys.
You should never feel the need to hide a pregnancy from an employer. That is unacceptable.
Kesluk, Silverstein & Jacob—Los Angeles employment attorneys