You were more than excited to share the news with your colleagues that you were going to have a baby. Most people responded positively, some even suggested a baby shower at work. The people who weren’t happy, though, were those in charge.
You couldn’t understand why they were so unhappy about your pregnancy. You’ve been with the company for years, and you’re always on time and do good work. Now, you’ve noticed that they’re giving you fewer and fewer assignments while acting like everything you turn in isn’t good enough. It feels like you might end up terminated from your position.
What might be happening is something called pregnancy discrimination.
What is pregnancy discrimination?
Pregnancy discrimination is when an employer discriminates against a woman because she gets pregnant. This is against the law, since pregnant women are protected under the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s Pregnancy Discrimination Act.
How are pregnant women protected in the workplace?
An employer is not able to choose whom to hire or fire based on pregnancy alone. An employer can’t discriminate against a woman because she wants to become pregnant, either. If a woman has to take maternity leave, the employer has to hold the individual’s position for the same length of time he or she would hold an open position for someone who was out on temporary disability leave or sick leave. New parents, both men and women, may also be eligible to take up to 12 weeks of leave, paid or unpaid depending on the job, to care for their new child or children. Employees eligible for this must have been employed and worked with their current employers for 12 months before taking leave and must work at a place of employment with the required number of employees.
You have a right to pregnancy protections in the workplace. Bringing new life into the world is a blessing, not something you should be penalized for.