Do you feel you were not hired, not promoted, denied benefits, or eliminated because of your pregnancy? Then you are not alone: every year, thousands of reports of alleged lawyers for pregnancy discrimination are filed with the Federal Equal Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and similar government agencies. And the EEOC recently announced that discrimination against pregnant women, particularly in the form of denial of light duty and other accommodations to pregnant employees, is an enforcement priority for the agency.
Pregnancy discrimination is a form of illegal sex discrimination. Occurs when an employee treats an applicant or employee due to pregnancy, childbirth, or related conditions. (Different treatment of female employees because of their reproductive capacity, for example, no women of childbearing age SHOULD be allowed to work near chemicals that are dangerous to a developing fetus, is also illegal sex discrimination.)
The discrepancy due to pregnancy can occur at any time in the employment relationship, from hiring to dismissal. It is illegal to refuse to hire someone because you are pregnant; Claimed assignments, promotions, or emotions based on pregnancy; or fire someone because they are pregnant.
The law does not grant pregnant women any special rights: it only prevents employers from treating pregnant workers differently from other workers. For example, if an employee assigns light duties to other workers with temporary disabilities, he or she must also assign those assignments to workers who are temporarily unable to perform their regular job due to pregnancy.
To win a pregnancy discrimination case and YOU show that YOU were treated differently from similarly situated workers and that one of the differences in treatment was based on your pregnancy. Depending on the facts of your case, there are several ways to prove discrimination. Regardless of the facts you rely on, your obligation is the same: You must provide evidence that there is a high probability that your worker took action against you because of your pregnancy.
Sometimes an employee has direct evidence of discrimination. In the presented case, dies means that the employee has admitted to having acted with discriminatory intent.
If your co-worker said your pregnancy influenced her decision, it’s far too easy for you to compare in court. For example, if you were denied a promotion and your manager said, “I’d love to give you the job, but I know you won’t travel as much once you have your baby,” that would be direct evidence . Discrimination today, attitudes towards pregnancy, mothers and the role of women at home and at work run the gamut. While it is very rare for an employee to admit to racist thinking, it is not uncommon for an employee to openly state that an employee’s pregnancy was a factor in their decision.
If your employee has not determined that pregnancy was a factor in their decision, you may still have ample evidence to allow a judge or jury to conclude that discrimination occurred. To prove discrimination by circumstantial evidence, the facts of your case as a whole must make it more than likely that discrimination was behind your employer’s action.
Circumstantial evidence often consists of showing that the employee deviated from their usual practice or policy, acted in a way that did not make business sense, or changed their behavior. Without a solid explanation for the change, lazy managerial decisions to be made after your pregnancy could be apparent or known as a result of discrimination. Statistical evidence or evidence of how other pregnant workers will be treated can also be persuasive.
The moment in time is often crucial, especially in pregnancy discrimination cases. Unlike other protected characteristics, pregnancy is a temporary condition. If your employee treats you differently shortly after learning of your pregnancy, this could indicate discrimination.
Suppose we write it off just before the expiration date. Her co-worker never said her pregnancy was the reason for her termination. But there may be other tests, such as:
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