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Pregnancy discrimination in the workplace in much more common than one might think. Pregnancy is something that companies don’t like to deal with but by law they have to. Unfortunately there are many companies who find ways around following the pregnancy discrimination act.

Here are the pregnancy discrimination act details.

Pregnancy Discrimination Act

Here is an example of an actors portrayal of a real life pregnancy discrimination situation.

“According to EEOC statistics, between 1992 and 2005, pregnancy discrimination claims rose more than 30 percent, from 3,385 in 1992 to 4,449 in 2005. In financial terms, the monetary awards to pregnancy discrimination plaintiffs rose from $3.7 million in 1992 to a high of $20.6 million in 2000 (and those amounts don’t include damages awarded in litigation)”.

Click here for more related information.

So what should you do if you are a victim of Pregnancy Discrimination?

  • First and foremost know your rights. If you are a victim of pregnancy discrimination then you need to follow these steps in order to protect yourself and your job.

1) Write down what happened. Write down the date, time and place of the incident, as soon as possible. Include what was said and who was there. Keep a copy of these notes at home. They will be useful if you decide to file a complaint with your company or to take legal action.

2) Get emotional support from friends and family. It can be very upsetting to feel you have been treated unfairly at work. Take care of yourself. Think about what you want to do. Get help to do it.

3) Talk to your union representative. Union rules often allow you to file a grievance. If you don’t have a union, call a women’s or civil rights group for help.

4) Talk to your employer. Your company may have an Equal Employment Opportunity Officer or a way for you to file a “complaint.” For instance, some companies have new ways to resolve problems, like “mediation.” Check your employee handbook for procedures.

5) Find out how other pregnant workers have been treated. Talk to any women who may have had trouble at work because they were pregnant.

6) Keep doing a good job and keep a record of your work. Keep copies at home of your job evaluations and any letters or memos that show that you do a good job at work. Your boss may criticize your job performance later on in order to defend his or her discrimination.

7) You have a right to file a charge. The law has a very short time limit on how long you can wait to file a charge against your company. You can file a charge even if you do not work for your employer anymore. You can file a charge with the U. S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) at 1-800-669-EEOC. Most states and local governments also have a Human Rights or Civil Rights office that can help.

8) Find out more about your legal rights. You do not need a lawyer to file a charge with EEOC. But you may want to talk with a lawyer who specializes in sex discrimination. The State bar association or the women’s bar association in your area can refer you to lawyers. They can help you figure out what to do. They know the pros and cons of different legal actions, including the time and the cost of filing a lawsuit.

To get more information on this click here.

Do you agree that the steps above are appropriate steps to be taken when you are a victim of pregnancy discrimination? Are there other things you recommend should be done in a pregnancy discrimination case?

Pregnancy Discrimination is becoming more and more common but one might not have guessed is that it it even more common in New York. Take a look at this video for more information.

There are two types of pregnancy discrimination:

  1. Direct- this is a type of discrimination that is very straightforward – a very common example would be a woman getting fired because she just informed her employers that she is pregnant.
  2. Indirect- this is a type of discrimination that is less obvious – “Indirect discrimination is defined as a condition or rule which appears to be fair because it treats everyone the same, but in fact, that rule or condition disadvantages pregnant women.” An example of this would be enforcing a uniform policy. It may seem like it is fair because everyone must abide but it is only a fair rule if the company provides a maternity uniform as well.

Pregnancy discrimination is against the law in many more ways than just at work. Here is a list of different areas where pregnancy discrimination is against the law.

  • work (including applying for a job)
  • school or college
  • buying things in shops, hotels etc
  • trying to, or using, the services of professionals or tradespeople
  • renting a house, motel room, office etc
  • buying land
  • applying for credit or a loan
  • dealing with banks, insurance companies etc
  • trying to, or using, the services of state or local governments

Do you think there are any other situations not listed above that could or should be classified as against the law when it comes to pregnancy discrimination?

EEOC Facts about Pregnancy Discrimination

More and more women are complaining about discrimination in the workplace becoming more and more common. This is causing more woman to work up until the very last minute before giving birth because they are afraid of losing their jobs. That is absolutely ridiculous. Woman should never have to worry about losing their job because they are starting a family. That is not something to apologize for and it is definitely no reason to fire someone from work. The following links below are articles written about the rise of pregnancy discrimination.

USATODAY Article
NBC Article

Do you agree or disagree that pregnancy discrimination is becoming more common?

Pregnancy Discrimination Statistics

So why do you think that pregnancy discrimination is on the rise?

Claims of pregnancy discrimination have climbed faster than the influx of women into the workforce.

A Closer Look at 1996 to 2005:

Complaints by women of color drove the increase. In an analysis of the decade from fiscal year 1996 to 2005, the partnership found that pregnancy discrimination claims by women of color jumped 76%, compared with only 25% overall.

Breaking down claims by racial group found an increase of:

  • 45% for Black women
  • 135% for Hispanic women
  • 90% for Asian/Pacific Islander women
  • 109% for American Indian/Alaska Native women

More than half the claims (53%) arose in service, retail trade, financial services, insurance and real estate, industries in which about 70% of women work.

Click here for more related information.

Do you think that race has anything to do with pregnancy discrimination?

Pregnancy Discrimination Case #1

Pregnancy Discrimination Case #2

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