One of the fastest growing types of discrimination charges being filed are those of pregnancy claims. It is illegal under federal law for an employer to discriminate against an employee based on that employee’s pregnancy. What all does this entail? Here are the most common examples of pregnancy discrimination.
Examples of Pregnancy Discrimination
- Refusing to hire due to pregnancy – Companies sometimes decide not to hire a woman because she is pregnant. Often, they can be wary of hiring a younger woman because they want to hire someone that will work for years without interruption. This is discrimination based on the possibility of future pregnancy.
- Discrimination against breast-feeding – A right afforded to all new mothers (for up to one year) is to safely pump breast milk at work. It is discrimination to fire or act differently towards a female employee because she is lactating.
- Refusing their right to special accommodation – Pregnancy can, under certain circumstances, entitle some women to treatment similar to workers with medical impairments. Just as employers wouldn't expect an employee who injured his back to lift heavy objects, employers should afford a pregnant woman who requires light work that right.
Dan A. Atkerson is a Dallas employment lawyer who fights passionately on behalf of victims of pregnancy discrimination and other forms of workplace injustice.