Pregnancy discrimination at work remains a pressing issue worldwide. The joyous news of expecting a baby can be marred by discriminatory practices at the workplace. In this article, we will discuss twenty detailed Pregnancy Discrimination at Work Examples and provide legal ways to resolve them.
20 Pregnancy Discrimination at Work Examples
Pregnancy discrimination occurs when an employer treats a woman unfavorably because of pregnancy, childbirth, or related conditions. It can take on various forms, from subtle bias to blatant discrimination.
Example 1: Denied Promotion Due to Pregnancy
Jane, a senior analyst, was next in line for a promotion. However, once she announced her pregnancy, the promotion was given to a less-qualified colleague. Jane can file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), who will investigate the matter.
Example 2: Sudden Negative Performance Reviews
Laura, who was always praised for her work, started receiving negative performance reviews during her pregnancy. She can document these sudden changes and consult with a labor attorney to discuss potential pregnancy discrimination.
Example 3: Unwanted Change in Job Responsibilities
When Sarah announced her pregnancy, her employer suddenly shifted her to a different role with less responsibility, claiming it was for her safety. In this case, Sarah can consult with an attorney or her union representative (if applicable) to discuss this unwanted change in job duties, which could constitute pregnancy discrimination.
Example 4: Refusal of Reasonable Accommodations
Emma, a pregnant employee, requested a stool to sit on during her shift as a cashier due to back pain. Her employer refused, claiming it was against company policy. Emma can file a complaint with the EEOC, as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations for temporary impairments, which can include pregnancy.
Example 5: Dismissed After Announcing Pregnancy
Rachel was let go from her job shortly after announcing her pregnancy. Her employer claimed it was due to performance issues, but Rachel had consistently received positive performance reviews. Rachel could consult with an employment attorney to discuss a potential wrongful termination claim.
Example 6: Harassment Because of Pregnancy
After Jane announced her pregnancy, her boss started making derogatory comments about her changing body, which created a hostile work environment. Jane can report the harassment to HR and file a complaint with the EEOC if the behavior continues.
Example 7: Employer Refuses Maternity Leave
Emily’s employer refused to grant her maternity leave, even though she was eligible under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Emily can file a complaint with the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division.
Example 8: Forced Unpaid Leave During Pregnancy
Lisa’s employer insisted she take unpaid leave during her pregnancy, even though she was still able to perform her job duties. Lisa can consult with an employment attorney or the EEOC, as this could be a violation of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act.
Example 9: Unequal Treatment of Pregnant Employees
Despite having a policy that accommodates employees with temporary disabilities, Kate’s employer denied her request for light duty work during her pregnancy. Kate can file a complaint with the EEOC, as this could be a violation of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act.
Example 10: Retaliation After Reporting Pregnancy Discrimination
After reporting pregnancy discrimination to her HR department, Mary found herself demoted with a reduced salary. Mary can consult with an employment attorney to discuss a potential retaliation claim.
Example 11: Dismissal After Maternity Leave
On returning from her maternity leave, Natalie found out she was let go due to a “restructuring” that happened while she was away. Natalie can consult with an employment attorney to explore a potential wrongful termination claim.
Example 12: Not Hiring Due to Pregnancy
During an interview, Amy was asked if she planned to become pregnant soon. After responding affirmatively, the interview tone changed, and Amy wasn’t offered the job. Amy can file a complaint with the EEOC, as it is illegal to not hire someone due to their pregnancy status.
Example 13: Denial of Work Opportunities
Despite being the most qualified, Jessica was denied the opportunity to handle a high-profile client because she was visibly pregnant. Jessica can consult with an employment attorney to discuss this potential form of pregnancy discrimination.
Example 14: Negative Comments About Pregnancy
After announcing her pregnancy, Anna’s boss made negative comments about how her pregnancy would affect her job performance. Anna can report these comments to HR and consult with an employment attorney if the situation doesn’t improve.
Example 15: Unequal Application of Company Policies
Despite other employees being allowed to modify their work schedules for medical appointments, Olivia was denied this flexibility for prenatal appointments. Olivia could consult with an employment attorney or report the issue to her HR department, as this could be considered pregnancy discrimination.
Example 16: Denial of Training Opportunities
After announcing her pregnancy, Lily was excluded from a professional development training that was offered to her colleagues. Lily can file a complaint with the EEOC or discuss the issue with an employment attorney.
Example 17: Forced to Start Maternity Leave Early
Without a valid medical reason, Beth’s employer forced her to start her maternity leave earlier than she planned. Beth can consult with an employment attorney or the EEOC, as this could be a violation of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act.
Example 18: Negative Stereotyping of Pregnant Employees
After announcing her pregnancy, Laura’s employer made comments implying that she would be less committed to her job due to her pregnancy. Laura can report these comments to HR and consult with an employment attorney if the behavior continues.
Example 19: Exclusion from Company Events
Once visibly pregnant, Emily found herself excluded from company networking events, which had a detrimental effect on her professional relationships. Emily can report this to her HR department and consult with an employment attorney if the situation doesn’t improve.
Example 20: Failure to Reinstate After Maternity Leave
Upon returning from maternity leave, Zoe found that her position had been filled and she was offered a lower-ranking job. Zoe can consult with an employment attorney to explore a potential wrongful demotion claim.
More Pregnancy Discrimination at Work Examples are coming soon…
People Also Ask
How Can I Prove Pregnancy Discrimination at Work?
To prove pregnancy discrimination, document instances of negative treatment after your pregnancy announcement, any relevant conversations, and any changes in performance reviews or job duties.
Can I Be Fired for Being Pregnant?
No, it is illegal to fire an employee because of her pregnancy under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978.
What Should I Do If I Experience Pregnancy Discrimination?
If you experience pregnancy discrimination, consider speaking with your HR department, documenting all incidents, and consulting with a lawyer.
Pregnancy discrimination can be subtle, but it has severe impacts on employees’ professional growth, mental health, and overall well-being. Knowing your rights and the resources available can help combat this form of discrimination, promoting a healthier, more inclusive workplace.
- See also: 20 Examples of Gender Discrimination in Workplace
- See also: 20 Examples of Mental Health Discrimination at Work
- See also: 20+ Examples of Disability Discrimination
- See also: 20 Examples of Workplace Discrimination & How to Resolve Them
- See also: 20 Examples of Age Discrimination and How to Address Them