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Common Signs Of Pregnancy Discrimination?


What Are The Common Signs Of Pregnancy Discrimination?

If you are pregnant, congratulations. We are thrilled for you and your family. It’s likely that by this point, you’ve experienced both the ups and downs of carrying new life within you. Pregnancy can be a wonderful experience for a mother to be, but it does have downsides that unfortunately go beyond the normal morning sickness and the constant parade of strangers constantly wanting to touch your belly. There is the very real possibility that your employer may not be entirely supportive of your pregnancy.

It’s known that women are often passed up for promotions or even lose their jobs after letting their bosses know that they are pregnant. Unfortunately, and despite various federal protections intended to prevent the unfair treatment of pregnant women, many women still delay announcing their pregnancy in the workplace out of fear.

Laws That Protect Against Pregnancy Discrimination

What Are The Most Common Signs Of Pregnancy Discrimination?

What Can I Do As The Victim Of Pregnancy Discrimination?

Laws That Protect Against Pregnancy Discrimination

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 was drafted to protect all women from all forms of workplace discrimination related to their pregnancy. If you were the victim of any unfair treatment related to hiring, firing, pay, promotions, or benefits, or if you were the subject of inappropriate comments or harassment because of your pregnancy, you may be entitled to file a pregnancy discrimination claim.

An employer is required to offer a pregnant employee unpaid disability leave of up to four months for the duration of time that they are disabled because of their pregnancy, childbirth, or for any other related medical conditions. It is illegal to refuse requests for temporary transfer or reasonable accommodation for pregnant employees.

When it comes to pregnancy, California law differs from the Federal and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) in the way that pregnancy is treated. Under the FMLA, a pregnant employee is entitled to receive a maximum of 12 weeks for time off before, during, and after the birth of a child. California law, on the other hand, provides time off under the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) for pregnancy disability leave that is separate from FMLA leave time. 

What Are The Most Common Signs Of Pregnancy Discrimination?

Employers rarely come out in the open and engage in blatant pregnancy discrimination. Still, there are many telltale signs you can and should be aware of.

Below is a list of common pregnancy discrimination behaviors seen in the workplace:

  • Special tests. An employer may request that you take any number of special tests to prove you can safely do your job while pregnant. An employer is not allowed to test a pregnant woman’s job related abilities, unless the employer requests that all employees must take the same tests.
  • Increase in criticism. If prior to your pregnancy you received consistently positive feedback from your managers, but after announcing your pregnancy you noticed a significant increase in negative feedback, it could be a sign of trouble.
  • Health care bills: Your employer suddenly says you must pay extra for your health care plan because you’re pregnant.
  • A pay raise doesn’t come. If you previously discussed a pay raise or bonus with your boss before announcing your pregnancy, and the conversation goes silent after you came out with the news, it could be because of your new pregnancy.
  • Your inbox and calendar go silent. Did you notice a sudden dip in work related emails? Maybe you’re no longer included in as many meetings? This could be a sign of workplace exclusion.
  • Promotion talk comes to an end. Sudden silence can be tough to attribute to discrimination. However, if you notice the promotion you had enthusiastically discussed prior to your pregnancy is no longer mentioned, that can be indicative of a problem.

There are also signs you should pay attention to if you are considering a new job while pregnant:

  • A job interviewer asks if you have children, or if you’re already pregnant, or if you have any intention of becoming pregnant.
  • A potential employer refuses to offer you a job because you are pregnant.
  • A potential employer treats pregnancy related health conditions differently than other temporary disabilities.

What Can I Do As The Victim Of Pregnancy Discrimination?

You may be entitled to file a pregnancy discrimination claim against your employer, but it is crucial that you document all instances of discrimination or harassment you have experienced in order to strengthen your claim. As an employee, you must prove that any actions taken against you were specifically because of your pregnancy and not any other reasons. 

Keeping detailed notes of your experience, and educating yourself on your rights, will help you successfully achieve the best outcome in your pregnancy discrimination claim.

What Can West Coast Employment Lawyers Do For You?

If you have made up your mind to take action, it is important to work with an attorney that specializes in cases like yours. The pregnancy discrimination lawyers at West Coast Employment Lawyers have extensive experience handling pregnancy discrimination cases. We will work tirelessly to gather the facts, find and interview eyewitnesses, hire experts, and fight for your rights.

We work on a contingency basis, which means we only get attorney’s fees if we are able to recover for you. Our legal team is available 24/7 and will take care of your case from start to finish. For a free no-obligation consultation with a pregnancy discrimination attorney in California, contact our office at 1-800-247-9235.


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