As an employee, you have the right to work without fear of discrimination. Pregnancy is one of many protected statuses employers cannot discriminate against. While you may have at-will employment, this does not mean an employer can fire you for illegal reasons. For instance, if you report discrimination or speak up against pregnancy discrimination and face termination, you may have a case of wrongful termination.
Understanding what pregnancy discrimination looks like can help you determine if your employer acted against you.
What is pregnancy discrimination?
During your pregnancy, you deserve as much respect as you did before it. You have protections set down by the federal government to prevent a hostile workplace. Harassment does not only come from above. Harassment can come from your colleagues, clients, supervisors, or employers. While pregnancy discrimination does not refer to light-hearted teasing, it is clear discrimination if you find it challenging to show up to work or recognize the environment as hostile. Likewise, you should never fear demotion or firing because of your pregnancy.
Pregnant women have the same rights as any temporarily disabled employee. The employer must provide reasonable accommodations, the same as he or she would for other employees.
How can you assess your situation?
Suppose you faced pregnancy discrimination at work and brought it up to your supervisor or filed a complaint. In that case, you should not face any adverse employment decisions based on your involvement in the complaint. If you return to work to find that your supervisors overlook you for higher positions or that your boss cut your hours, you may have a case of discrimination.
To prove discrimination, you must show a clear difference in how the company treated you.