Across the country, employers everywhere attempt to create a safe workspace that all employees can enjoy. Unfortunately, employers cannot control every action of their employees and may sometimes even accidentally – or even intentionally – contribute to a discriminatory environment.
Though pregnancy discrimination does not get as much press as other types, it has just as much of an impact on workplace productivity, safety and harmony.
How to employers discriminate?
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission examines discrimination against pregnant workers. If you are pregnant, you have the right to continue working and your employer cannot fire you simply for a pregnancy.
However, many employers have an antiquated worry that pregnant workers will leave the workforce immediately and never return. They think a pregnant worker is essentially a future loss, so they may consider “speeding the process up” so they can fill your position.
This often manifests in underhanded methods of discrimination with the overall intention of getting you to quit on your own since they cannot fire you directly. This may include:
- Slowly excluding you from off-hours activities like dinner parties
- Leaving you out of meetings
- Ceasing discussions of promotions or raises that were underway
- Changing your office to a less desirable location
- Leaving you with less desirable duties
Can fellow employees discriminate?
You can also face discrimination from other employees, though it tends to manifest in different ways. They may make unpleasant comments about your pregnancy behind your back. They might also isolate you from the workplace by excluding you from activities on and off the clock.
You have every right to fight against this discrimination if you experience it. Consider contacting legal professionals to see what your options are.