The option of pregnancy should be supported in any work environment. The fact is, many women still are discriminated against based on their decision to have a child. Whether the discrimination is in the hiring process or comments in the workplace about their performance due to their pregnancy, women still face discrimination from their personal choices to have children and their abilities when pregnant.
It is against the law to not hire an individual because they are pregnant. In the same notion, an employee can not be fired for becoming pregnant. These issues are still prevalent today. In a Philadelphia-based clothing franchise, Motherhood Maternity were forced to pay over $300,000 to settle a case regarding pregnancy discrimination in their hiring process. In 2007, the company allegedly refused to hire three different qualified women because they interviewed while pregnant. It is also against the law to not hire an individual because she plans on having a child in the future.
She Can’t Work?
A woman can not be fired for being unable to perform her duties at her job while pregnant. A woman with child legally should be treated as an individual with a temporary disability. Accommodation in some manner is required such as lightened workload, disability leave or unpaid leave. The truth is that woman can work throughout their pregnancy in a healthy manner and that employers must do their best to accommodate them. An employer can not force you to take to take time off or change jobs either.
The biggest issue with pregnancy discrimination in the workplace is that it can happen on multiple levels. From the hiring process, working with your employer to manage workload, to even the social stigma within the workplace, women face a lot of judgment in their choice to get pregnant in the workforce. Many employers view it as a burden and issue of efficiency. The fact is that it is the complete opposite. It is the law to accommodate and support your employee’s decision of having a child.
If you are being faced with discrimination, there are a few steps to take to report it. Gathering evidence is hard but an important factor when reporting it. Keep records of all of your interactions regarding your pregnancy with your employer. You can start the process by setting up an appointment with an EEOC counselor.