A job applicant or employee who is pregnant or may become pregnant should be granted the same rights and considerations as everyone else. Unfortunately, many women still suffer from pregnancy discrimination in the workplace.
At HKM Employment Attorneys, we have a team of highly skilled and experienced lawyers who are ready to fight for your rights. After your initial consultation, we’ll help you develop a plan to file a complaint or a lawsuit against the guilty parties so you can seek the equal treatment or compensation you deserve.
What Federal Laws Address Pregnancy Discrimination?
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is the primary source of regulations against workplace discrimination. It includes the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) of 1978, which clarified that discrimination based on childbirth and pregnancy is a form of sexual prejudice. The PDA requires employers to treat pregnant applicants and employees the same way they treat non-pregnant workers of the same capacity.
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) of 1993 is also an extension of Title VII. It guarantees you certain rights if you’ve worked at least one year in a company with 50 or more employees. Those rights include 12 weeks of job-protected and unpaid leave if you’re recovering from a medical condition, including pregnancy. It also allows you to take leave if you’re a spouse caring for a sick loved one or a parent with a newly adopted child.
Under these laws, pregnancy is considered a temporary disability. If other disabled employees are granted unpaid leave or workplace accommodations, then pregnant workers are legally allowed those same rights.
In Massachusetts, the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act prohibits employment discrimination on because of pregnancy and related conditions.
What is Considered Pregnancy Discrimination?
Contact our pregnancy discrimination lawyer in Boston if you’ve experienced any of the following in the workplace:
- A company refuses to hire you based on pregnancy, even though you’re qualified for the job.
- You’ve lost your job or suffered demotion due to pregnancy, childbirth, or associated conditions.
- Being denied opportunities that you qualify for after returning from a childbirth-related leave.
- Receiving a termination letter shortly after the boss learns of your pregnancy.
- Being asked to re-apply for a job after giving birth or raising your child.
- Your employer expects you to keep performing tasks that other employees with temporary disabilities don’t carry out.
- Getting cited for absenteeism after using parental leave.
Before or after the birth of your child, you also have the right to accommodation for any pregnancy-related illnesses. This includes physician-instructed bed rest, acute morning sickness, childbirth recovery, and associated medical conditions.
How Much is a Pregnancy Discrimination Case Worth?
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is a federal agency established through the Civil Rights Act (1964). It’s responsible for implementing and enforcing anti-discrimination laws, including the PDA.
The EEOC has seen a steady rise in the number of charges filed due to pregnancy-related workplace discrimination. The largest employment award given by a jury to a single plaintiff was $185 million in 2014 when a federal jury in California ruled in favor of Rosario Juarez. She filed the lawsuit following her demotion and salary reduction after childbirth.
It’s important for you to note that not all cases result in such massive awards. If you’re facing workplace discrimination due to pregnancy, consulting with a lawyer from HKM Employment Attorneys can give you a better idea of what type of compensation you may be eligible for.
How Do I Deal with Pregnancy Discrimination at Work?
Despite the passage of PDA more than four decades ago, workplace pregnancy discrimination is still widespread. Some victims struggle to speak out for fear of further victimization or retaliation. When you’re struggling through pregnancy discrimination at work, it’s suggested that you:
- Officially announce your pregnancy with your workplace if you haven’t already.
- Inform your employer if you have any pregnancy-related medical conditions such as preeclampsia.
- Report discrimination to the human resources department as soon as it happens. Even if they don’t take action, it will be on record that you tried to address the issue civilly before it escalated.
- Document all instances of workplace discrimination, including the date, time, action, and any witnesses who could corroborate the incidents.
If your mistreatment continues, even after you file an official complaint, then it may be time for legal action. Get in touch with one of our pregnancy discrimination lawyers in Boston to discuss the details of your case.
Seek Legal Counsel from a Pregnancy Discrimination Lawyer in Boston
At HKM Employment Attorneys, we specialize in seeking justice for victims of workplace prejudice. If you’re looking for the best pregnancy discrimination lawyers in Boston, we check all the boxes. Our firm has a track record of fighting hard for our client’s rights. Please schedule an appointment today so we can learn more about your case and take the first step toward resolving the issue.