Being pregnant is exciting, but the experience can be easily ruined by your job or employer. Pregnancy discrimination can take the joy out of this time in your life right before your eyes. Fortunately, you have certain protections from discrimination in your workplace. It may help to educate yourself about these policies so you can make sure you are being treated fairly at your job.
How am I protected?
Pregnancy discrimination is a serious issue and should be treated as such. As an employee, you are guaranteed certain rights and protections from your employer during your pregnancy.
Your employer cannot refuse to promote you due to your condition. Employers are also prohibited from restricting your responsibilities or otherwise demoting you as long as you are still able to perform your job well. Your employer cannot make you leave your job due to pregnancy, either.
Additionally, if you are no longer able to perform any part of your job, your employer is required to provide you with modified tasks or other assignments just as they would with any other temporarily disabled employee. You may also be entitled to disability leave or unpaid leave if you are no longer able to work.
If you take leave, your employer must also hold your job for you until you are able to return, within the general guidelines for other disabled workers who take leave.
What can I do?
If you think you are being discriminated against due to your pregnancy, you have options. You may want to consult an experienced attorney who can examine your situation and plan a course of action.
An investigation from The New York Times found that some women who were subjugated to pregnancy discrimination had later struggles in the pregnancy. Do not hesitate to take action. If your employer is violating the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, you may be entitled to compensation and other help.