Federal laws protect women from discrimination when they are pregnant. Pregnancy and lactation afterward are medical conditions that have historically impacted women’s careers, but they should not anymore.
Employers should accommodate the limitations a woman’s doctor suggests during her pregnancy. They should also allow her to take time off of work in accordance with company policy and federal laws, like the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
Sometimes, pregnancy discrimination results in a woman getting fired as soon as her employer finds out about her condition. Other times, she may not notice the impact of pregnancy discrimination until after the birth of her child.
Companies make the return to work impossible
In theory, a worker who takes maternity leave as offered by her employer or FMLA leave if she qualifies should be able to return to the same job and pay that she had before her leave of absence.
All too often, companies may try to push a new mother into a lower position or out of her job altogether because she took maternity leave. They may claim that the person who took over the job responsibilities has done a better job or deserves a chance since you took time off from work. They might cut you back to part-time instead of demoting you or start taking issues with your work performance as soon as you come back.
Workers dealing with punishment because they took leave for the birth of their child may be able to fight back against this unfair discrimination. Learning to identify different forms of pregnancy and family responsibility discrimination will make it easier for you to take action if your employer violates your rights.