In a perfect world you could get pregnant and you could still keep your job without your boss or other people harassing you. In a perfect world, people wouldn’t act disgraceful and wouldn’t make you stressed out during an emotion time in your life. Unfortunately, this is not a perfect world and sometimes you run into jerks that think they are above the law or they think they can do whatever they want because they are the “boss”. If there are laws to protect same sex couples, laws to protect people with disabilities and laws to protect people from being discriminated against because of creed or race you better be darn sure there are also laws against pregnancy harassment! If you are pregnant and you feel that you are being harassed, take a look at the steps below under the employment law to see if you qualify for pregnancy harassment and what you can do.
While being pregnant isn’t under its own category, it is under the sexual harassment category. If your company has a handbook on what discrimination is as far as pregnancy goes and where to report it at, make sure you get a hole of this handbook and check it out a little more thoroughly. Most handbooks will tell you to call a number, but even if this is the case, make sure you also put your report in writing as well. The report should include how you were singled out, how you were harassed, when it happened – if it happened on several occasions, list dates, times, places, whatever you can remember. Under the handbook guidelines there should be a contact if who you should give the report to (save one for yourself as well). If the person who is harassing you is the person who you are supposed to report it to, contact human resources or the EOE and ask them who you should contact otherwise. This is the person who should investigate it further and contact anyone else who needs to be aware of the report written by you. However, if this person does NOT report it and investigate it you should follow the next step.
If your boss or the company you work for does not nullify the issue at hand, you will be given no other choice but to file a case with the EEOE. One thing you have to remember is that there are cases going on countrywide every single day, so this might not be filed, reported or investigated as quickly as you would like or as quickly as if you just contacted someone in-house. The thing to remember about the EEOC is that they don’t award money for someone who discriminates you, however, once you file a suit with them, you can then provide to sue the company that is harassing you, IF you have a case. A good thing to do is file with the EEOC then speak to a lawyer about your situation and about employment law.
It might seem like your best bet, but the last thing you want to do is actually quit your job, for two specific reasons. First off, if you are already showing, it is probably going to be difficult to get a new job. Not just because you are showing, but chances are if you are showing you are probably due soon as well. No one wants to go through the hiring and training process only to have someone work 3-5 months and then have to go on a leave because they have their baby. Second off, if you have an FMLA with the company you are with now, you only have one because you have worked with them for over a year. If you are already pregnant, you won’t have enough time to get a new job and wait a whole year to be eligible for FMLA. If you leave your current job and have already been Okayed for FMLA, you will lose any and all benefits. If possible, try to really stick it out. If you are really stressed out and emotional about the situation at hand, talk to your OBYN and see if she/he can suggest anything for the stress, preferably something natural.
Let’s be honest here, in some circumstances, a woman can afford to lose a job. She has money in a retirement fund, she has a spouse, she has money from a grandparent or parent that passed away, etc. By all means, if you are lucky enough to be one of these people, quit the job if it’s causing you too much stress. There is no sense losing a baby over or having an unhealthy baby because of a job. Unfortunately, not a lot of woman are in these situations where they have something to fall back on. If worse comes to worse, don’t worry about the job or the money, worry about you and your baby and it and you being healthy and stress free – quit if it comes down to it.