The basics of pregnancy discrimination

On Behalf of | Mar 26, 2020 | Workplace Discrimination |

Many women do not expect their pregnancy to affect their job. However, some women may experience pregnancy discrimination. It is important for women to recognize the signs of this discrimination and understand what steps they can take. 

Many women may not be familiar with pregnancy discrimination until they experience it themselves. According to, pregnancy discrimination takes place when companies base their employment decisions on a woman’s pregnancy. Some people might refuse to hire a pregnant woman or fire a woman when they learn about her pregnancy. This kind of discrimination also takes place if a woman does not receive a promotion because of her pregnancy. 

What does pregnancy discrimination look like? 

Pregnancy discrimination can take many forms. Many women may experience harassment when they pump breast milk at work. A woman also experiences this type of discrimination if her employer takes punitive action after she files a complaint. Sometimes employers may refuse to give women the same amount of medical leave as other employees. This is also a form of pregnancy discrimination. 

How should women handle pregnancy discrimination? 

Many women may wonder what they can do if they experience discrimination. The American Association of University Women says that women receive protection under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. Under this act, employers cannot change a woman’s job duties or fire her because of her pregnancy. Additionally, this act protects a woman’s vacation time, pay and job benefits. When women realize they are experiencing pregnancy discrimination, they can file a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Women may want to write down each incident of discrimination so they have a written record of their experience. If women want to file a charge, they usually have to do this within 180 days of the last incident. 


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