Pregnancy is a time of celebration and hope for many expectant mothers (and their partners). However, pregnancy is also stressful for many people, whether couples face financial uncertainty or women experience health problems during the course of their pregnancy. Unfortunately, some people experience discrimination during this important time in their lives.
Owners and managers need to remember that this is both bad business and illegal to discriminate against pregnant women. Still, it continues to surface in workplaces all over the U.S.
Women face challenges
If a business unfairly treats a pregnant woman or new mother, she likely faces a number of challenges. These includes:
- Denial of a well-deserved promotion, a demotion or a dismissal
- Turned down for a job solely because of their pregnancy status
- Those who take the state-mandated 12-week maternity leave find their position filled when they return
- Those who take maternity leave may find they are not physically able to return to work after three months, thus imperiling their employment
- Those who return may endure harsh treatment that includes a suitable place (which is not the bathroom) to pump
Businesses put themselves at risk if they discriminate
Companies leave themselves open to many legal issues if they single out, mistreat or violate the rights of women who are pregnant or take maternity leave. They should also not dismiss any complaint. Those with questions or believe that the employee is not forthright about their condition should speak with an experienced employment law attorney. These legal professionals can provide an accurate interpretation of the laws and what steps to take to resolve disputes and irregularities.