News of a pregnancy is typically met with great joy, multiple rounds of congratulations and, of course, nervous excitement on the part of friends and family. Unfortunately, employers may not share this same enthusiasm and may even resort to discriminatory practices upon hearing the news.
For instance, a pregnant employee may see her hours suddenly reduced, her work environment rapidly becoming hostile and her position ultimately terminated.
While statistics show that the number of pregnancy discrimination complaints has fallen across the U.S. in recent years, advocacy groups point out that this might not necessarily be indicative of employers changing their ways, but rather that fewer women are coming forward out of fear of retaliation.
Indeed, these advocacy groups point out that women who earn a living in low-wage positions (i.e., retail clerks, nursing assistants, etc.) or positions that have traditionally been dominated by men (delivery companies, law enforcement, etc.) are not only at an elevated risk of pregnancy discrimination, but may also be reluctant to take action.
It's important for pregnant employees across all industries to know that they have rights under federal law, which mandates that all employers must treat pregnant employees in the same manner as fellow employees "who are similar in their ability or inability to work."
They also have rights under state law. For instance, Minnesota employers are required to make reasonable accommodations for pregnant employees, such as giving them more frequent breaks.
At the Law Office of Sivertson and Barrette, P.A., we understand how the prospect of coming forward to combat pregnancy discrimination can be rather intimidating. However, if you can get over this initial hurdle and contact one of our skilled legal professionals, you can leave the fight to protect your interests and enforce your rights to us, leaving you free to focus on your everyday life.
Please visit our website to learn more.