Spotting pregnancy discrimination 

One would hope that in this day and age, discriminating against someone based on pregnancy and conditions related to pregnancy would be a thing of the past. Yet, those with subconscious or explicit bias and those who fear for their company’s bottom line in ways that are outdated still manage to unlawfully mistreat pregnant workers.

With that said, pregnancy-related discrimination in American workplaces may be disturbingly commonplace, but it isn’t always easy to identify and prove. Most unlawful mistreatment of workers related to pregnancy is subtle. It’s, therefore, important to pay attention to your gut if the way you feel that you’re being mistreated feels wrong. 

A recent case example

A recent lawsuit filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) illustrates several different kinds of institutional policies that can amount to pregnancy discrimination. Of course, individualized forms of unlawful mistreatment happen regularly as well. But, pregnancy discrimination is so pervasive that formal discriminatory policies remain common too. It’s important to keep on the lookout for both. 

In the case mentioned above, the EEOC identified the following discriminatory policies employed by a single skilled nursing facility:

  • Mandatory notification of pregnancy status for workers
  • A requirement that pregnant workers secure a physician’s note confirming they could work without restrictions
  • Denial of reasonable accommodation requests for pregnancy-related restrictions
  • Wrongful termination related to pregnancy

Again, these are just a few examples of the kinds of unlawful policies that too many employers continue to institute to the detriment of those who are pregnant, may become pregnant, or have recently been pregnant. Seeking legal guidance to identify additional sources of pregnancy discrimination can be helpful for those who may have cause to file legal action against their employers. 

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