Pregnancy discrimination in the work environment

| Jul 14, 2020 | Firm News |

While the workplace is ever changing and evolving, the fact that employees should be treated fairly remains. This means that whether employees in Kentucky are working remotely, in an office or other work environment, certain employment laws protect them. This also means that if employee believes that they are being mistreated, he or she has the right and ability to assert workplace discrimination.

Currently, women make up almost 50% of the workforce in the U.S., and of these working women, roughly 85% of them will become mothers during their careers. This means that these female employees will continue working while pregnant, taking time off of work for the birth and care of their child.

While many women are able to continue their work throughout their pregnancy, others may experience temporary disruptions in their ability to perform job duties. When a medical condition related to pregnancy or childbirth interferes with a woman’s ability to perform her job duties, an employer must treat her like any other disabled employee. Unfortunately, this is not the case, as more than 50,000 pregnancy discrimination claims have been filed in the past decade.

Pregnancy discrimination can take various forms; however, it typically looks like an employee or applicant being treated differently because of she is pregnant or just gave birth to a child. Because the Pregnancy Discrimination Act forbids discrimination based on pregnancy and childbirth, a female employee could take action if she experiences negative treatment, such as termination, demotion, layoff or a hostile work environment.

Expecting a child is an exciting life event. While it may impact an employee’s continued work and require time away from work once she has given birth, becoming pregnant should not be the cause for changes in treatment in the workplace. Women who believe that they have been subjected to pregnancy discrimination should understand their rights and options when it comes to taking action and seeking damages caused by it.