Whether you are a pregnant woman or you have concerns about how a future pregnancy could affect your career, it is important to understand your rights and familiarize yourself with the law. Sadly, many pregnant woman experience unlawful harassment and some do not take action because they worry about retaliation or do not identify unlawful activity in the first place.
Not only is it illegal for employers to discriminate against current staff members who are pregnant, but discrimination against pregnant woman is also prohibited during the hiring process. Some people do not realize that it is illegal to reject an application solely because of pregnancy.
Unlawful discrimination against pregnant applicants
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission states that it is against the law for companies with 15 or more staff members to discriminate against pregnant women when making hiring decisions. For example, employers cannot reject a woman’s application solely because of her pregnancy status or because of prejudice among customers, clients or other employees. Moreover, employers cannot turn down a woman’s application because of a pregnancy-related condition.
Pregnancy discrimination impacts entire families
Not only does pregnancy discrimination create emotional, financial and career-related hardships for women, but this mistreatment often adversely affects entire families as well. For example, some families face serious financial hardships because a woman is unable to secure a lucrative position as a result of her pregnancy, even though she is fully qualified and capable of performing the job duties well. If you or a loved one experienced pregnancy discrimination firsthand, or any other type of illegal discrimination, it is vital to hold the employer (or prospective employer) accountable.