The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 added pregnancy to the list of protected classes covered by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. It is illegal for an employer to discriminate against a pregnant job applicant or employee in any way, such as denying her request for reasonable accommodations in the workplace or firing her after learning she is pregnant. When an employee faces pregnancy discrimination, she has the right to file a discrimination claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or the Illinois Department of Human Rights.
A pregnant woman has the right to seek reasonable accommodations to make it possible to comfortably perform her job while pregnant. A reasonable accommodation is an alteration to her workspace or schedule that does not impose an undue burden on the company or threaten other employees’ health, rights, or safety in any way. Examples of reasonable accommodations for a pregnant employee include:
Pregnancy discrimination in the workplace can take many forms. In addition to denying a pregnant woman one or more of the above accommodations, discrimination can manifest as:
Document everything. Print out emails and other messages that you feel are discriminatory or otherwise support your case, jot down the date, time, and context of every discriminatory comment you receive and conversation you hear or are made a part of, and keep a file of all your meetings with your supervisor and Human Resources regarding your experience. If you file an EEOC claim or a lawsuit, you will need these documents to support your claim.
If you feel you have been a victim of pregnancy discrimination, discuss your case with an experienced employment lawyer to determine the most productive way to proceed. Contact the Law Office of Mitchell A. Kline today to schedule your initial free consultation in our office.
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