Pregnancy discrimination is one of the many types of discrimination prohibited by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Pregnancy is listed alongside classes like race, religion, and national origin as grounds that cannot be used to harass, demote, or otherwise impede an individual’s career. When a pregnant woman or a new mother faces pregnancy discrimination, she has the right to seek compensation for her related financial damages.
You have the right to be treated fairly at work. This means you cannot be wrongfully terminated, passed over for a promotion, or disciplined more severely than your colleagues for the same infractions. You also have the right to request reasonable accommodations to make it is easier and more comfortable for you to perform your job while pregnant. A reasonable accommodation is a change to your schedule or workspace that does not impose an undue financial or safety burden on the company or your colleagues. Examples include:
Pregnancy discrimination can look a lot like other forms of discrimination, such as:
Other ways a company can discriminate against a pregnant employee include denying her the right to take unpaid time off under the Family and Medical Leave Act or if the company provides paid maternity leave, denying the individual this paid time off as it is available to others.
At the first instance of discrimination, speak with your supervisor about your experience. If this does not resolve the issue, discuss it with Human Resources. Be sure to document all interactions you have regarding the discrimination as well as each instance of discriminatory treatment.
After speaking with Human Resources, contact an experienced employment lawyer to discuss your case. You could have grounds to file a discrimination claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or Illinois Department of Human Rights; and these agencies will investigate your claim and potentially facilitate a settlement to compensate you for your damages related to the discrimination.
Working with an experienced employment lawyer to pursue your pregnancy discrimination claim is in your best interest. To learn more about your rights and legal options as a discrimination victim, contact the Law Office of Mitchell A. Kline today to set up your initial free consultation in our office.