The government has established rules and regulations to protect the workforce against unfair treatment such as sexual harassment, racial discrimination and retaliation. There are classes of employees that the government aims to protect from abuse at the hands of an employer.
Pregnancy is a part of life that many women experience at various stages and ages in life. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission enacted rules governing how employers should handle pregnancy. Explore some of the protections afforded under this so you can identify any missteps by an employer.
Pregnancy is not a cause for dismissal
An employer, either present or future, cannot refuse to hire or dismiss an employee because of pregnancy. In the instance of a future employer, denial of a job cannot occur because the woman may become pregnant or once was pregnant. The same goes for a current employer; having a baby is not a viable reason for termination. While you may have to take on different job duties during the pregnancy for safety reasons, it should pay equally as your current position.
An employer may not pass you over for a promotion
If you are one of a few up for a promotion and do not get it because of pregnancy, you may have a case for workplace bias. The exception for this is if the job may become burdensome or hazardous for you as the pregnancy progresses; however, the employer cannot cite the impending birth as a reason for the rejection.
An employer must make reasonable accommodations for pregnancy
Some jobs are physically labor-intensive, and as such, pregnancy may make performing them difficult and dangerous. If your doctor recommends you ask for reasonable accommodations during your pregnancy, your employer should comply if it is possible. For example, if you need to sit more at a job that requires more activity and your company cannot comply, your supervisor should find you an alternative position. Employers have a responsibility to provide accommodations as long as they do not cause the company undue hardship.