Many pregnant women will tell you that they won’t even bother looking for a job until after they give birth as they know they won’t be hired. Their dedication to the job will be questioned. Some employers make negative assumptions concerning their ability to balance home-life and work-life. There is a fear that the mother will not want to work for long, needing to stay at home with the baby.
There are male HR reps and business owners who see a pregnant woman and automatically discriminate against her because they will need FMLA sanctioned maternity leave. Stereotypes about women and pregnancy cause many men to make sexist assumptions that are extremely damaging and completely untrue.
Did you know that it is illegal for an employer, or potential employer, to discriminate against you if you are pregnant?
Your Rights And The Law:
Discriminating against a pregnant woman is sexist and illegal, Unfortunately, even with the law on your side, this happens. You do have rights.
Pregnancy Discrimination Act
The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) was created by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or the EEOC, to specifically stop harassment and discrimination against any working women. Your pregnancy is not to affect any part of the employment process, including:
- employment opportunities
Pregnancy is put into the same category as a temporary disability and employers must make certain that they offer lighter duties and appropriate job assignments.
The employer has to hold your job for you if you have to go on leave or take your maternity leave. The law states that you shall be given either your old job or a job of equal status and pay.
As this pregnancy is considered a temporary disability, this means that you cannot be discriminated against for any inability to complete a task. It doesn’t matter if you are adopting a kid, bringing a foster child into your home, or welcoming a baby, you are protected from discrimination if you can prove that it happened.
What Needs To Happen?
You must document everything that happens and that is said concerning your condition. This is usually the best proof of the burden the employers have placed upon you.
Write about everything; leave nothing out and timestamp everything. It may be difficult to collect everything but try your best. Cell phone cameras can be very useful these days. Gather witnesses and any other proof that you have legal access to. We need solid proof to get you the best outcome available.
Document any acts of hostility or sexist behavior from any member of the staff. Don’t forget to ask why you were fired, laid off, or not hired. If they don’t have a quick and logical answer, then their intentions may have been prejudiced.
If you decide to take this to court, you may be owed several benefits, such as:
- lost wages
- emotional distress
- full court costs
- lawyer’s fees
Sometimes an employee is entitled to other compensation based on their personal experience. These options should be discussed with your lawyer.
California is the best in the nation in how we protect our workers, but there are bad apples in every bushel that need to be checked. Your race, sexual orientation, religion, and medical status cannot affect your employment. If it does, then you need an aggressive attorney on your side.
Call Us At Aiman-Smith & Marcy For Guidance
The best thing you can do for yourself is to call Aiman-Smith & Marcy to answer your questions and guide you through the process. Our talented and efficient team understands how you feel. We will fight with you the entire way.
Give us a call at (800) 798-8498 to schedule your initial appointment, and we can begin brainstorming immediately.