When you discover that you’re expecting, you’ll likely be overcome with emotions. However, the one thing you should not have to worry about between doctor’s appointments and shopping for supplies is how your company will treat you during this time. If you’ve recently discovered that you’re pregnant, understanding how pregnancy discrimination manifests in the workplace is essential to protecting yourself. Keep reading to learn what you need to look out for and why you should contact a New York City employment discrimination lawyer if you’re facing prejudice in your place of work.
What Does Pregnancy Discrimination Look Like?
There are a number of ways one can be impacted by pregnancy discrimination in the workplace, as it can affect a number of different employment-related areas, including hiring, wage and hours, benefits, and termination of the employee.
For example, if a visibly pregnant woman is refused a job position because she will need time off to deal with the pregnancy and chooses to hire someone who has less experience and qualifications, it is very likely you can pursue a discrimination claim. Also, employers are not allowed to ask about pregnancy or family status during an interview.
If your employer also makes inappropriate comments about your pregnancy, such as verbally harassing you or asking rude, personal questions, you may be able to pursue a claim.
A company is not allowed to demote or fire a woman for becoming pregnant. Unfortunately, this is an illegal yet common way of punishing an employee for taking time off. This is retaliation and against the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1964.
Do Women Have Rights After They Give Birth?
Women also have rights in the workplace when they return from maternity leave, especially when it concerns pumping milk. For one year after the birth of their child, employers are required to allow women reasonable time to express milk. Similarly, they must offer the worker a private location where other staff members and public patrons cannot intrude. This location cannot be a bathroom. The right to pump milk is protected under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
What Should I Do if I’m Facing Discrimination?
If you are facing discrimination in the workplace as a result of your pregnancy, you do not have to endure it. You should document as much evidence as possible and discuss the matter with your human resources representative. If this does not change the outcome, as many companies do not want to hold employers responsible for fear of negative publicity, you’ll need to elevate the claim.
You should contact an attorney as soon as possible. Unfortunately, many businesses have the resources to hire aggressive lawyers to protect their reputation when facing a lawsuit, so you’ll need to ensure you find a firm that isn’t afraid to fight for you.
At Mirza Law, our dedicated legal team will work tirelessly to fight for you during this challenging time. Contact us today to discuss the details of your case with an experienced lawyer.