What is Pregnancy Discrimination?

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Pregnancy discrimination

It might be the year 2015, but there is still a lot of unlawful discrimination going on in our world, even for pregnant women.  In 2006, the EEOC actually received over 5000 complaints from new moms where they were having trouble at work because they were pregnant.  But, in 2015, while this number has gone down, it’s still quite a problem and is still quite prevalent in the workplace.  There are laws that keep you safe, however, but sometimes it’s less about complaining about being treated unfairly and more about knowing your rights.  If you are pregnant or you want to know more about pregnancy discrimination, continue to read below for more information.

Getting Reassigned or Fired

If you just found out you were pregnant and you told your boss, is there a way you can get reassigned or even fired?  To put it bluntly, no.  The PDA which is the Pregnancy Discrimination Act keeps you safe from things like this.  A little bit about the PDA according to Wiki: “The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 is a United States federal statute. It amended Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to “prohibit sex discrimination on the basis of pregnancy.” “The Act covers discrimination “on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions.” It only applies to employers with 15 or more employees. Employers are exempt from providing medical coverage for elective abortions – except in the case that the mother’s life is threatened – but are required to provide disability and sick leave for women who are recovering from an abortion. The law was passed as a direct response to a United States Supreme Court decision in General Electric Company v. Gilbert, which held that pregnancy discrimination was not a form of sex discrimination under the Civil Rights Act of 1964.”

In recent years, the PDA has been changed over time, in different states, but in some states if an employer has less than 15 employees working for them, the law is even more prevalent.  If you work at a place with less than 15 employees, check your local and state US Department of Labor Women’s Bureau to see if there is someone in your area that can help you with your case.  And if you were fired due to your pregnancy or got demoted you may want to consult with an employment law attorney; an employment law attorney in NJ will be able to work with you and will be able to tell you if there is a case against your current or former employer.  If there is a case the employment attorney will sue your boss on your behalf.

Getting Demoted or Bypassed For a Promotion

If you were supposed to get a promotion for a better job, better position, better title or even more money, your employer cannot demote you or bypass the promotion just because you are pregnant.  In fact he PDA doesn’t just cover hiring and positions dealing with on the job topics, but firing, demotions and everything else in between – the law will protect you in all facets of your job.

Pay Increases, Vacations, and Credits

If you are pregnant and take time off, your benefits, pay increases, vacation time and credit all have to be treated in the same manner for someone who is not pregnant or left for non-pregnancy related issues.  If you find that your boss is not following the same guidelines with you that they follow with all employees, it might be time to talk to human resources, or an Employment lawyer.

How Long Can I Wait?

Make sure that if you are pregnant and you are discriminated against, that when you file a charge – it’s within 180 days of the date it happened.  You have to file your charge with the EEOC in order to preserve your legal rights as well.  If you aren’t sure how to do this, the EEOC can be very helpful or you can hire a lawyer in New Jersey to help you file the case and figure all of the other factors out in your case.  The EEOC actually has a Filing a Charge form right on their website which allows you to file a charge for unfair treatment or discrimination as a pregnant woman.  When you file a charge you will need information such as; when it happened, what happened or what situation where you in when it happened, what evidence you have, and any other notes you may have about the incident.

It’s a sad situation when anyone is discriminated against, but especially pregnant women.  This is supposed to be a fun, exciting and amazing experience for moms in general and to be treated unfairly just because you want a child is really sad.  Although the EEOC has fewer complaints these days, they still have reports and women filing claims and charges.

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