Dealing with Pregnancy Discrimination
Pregnancy and childbirth should mean happiness and celebration for a woman and her family, and she should not be subjected to adverse employment action or discriminatory treatment at work. For this reason, both federal and state laws exist that protect female employees from discrimination based on pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. Some employees may not know about the full range of protections provided to pregnant women, or may simply choose not to follow the laws.
Though discrimination against women who got pregnant or had a child was much more prevalent in the past, such unlawful behavior can still be found in the workplace and pregnant women should be aware of their rights under the laws. If you suspect that you have suffered discrimination or retaliation as a result of a pregnancy, you should schedule a private consultation with an experienced Colorado employment law attorney at our firm as soon as possible. We have almost 40 years of combined experience in protecting and fighting for the rights of employees to be free from discrimination. We can also help employers in defending against unjust or unfounded discrimination claims.
Video with Attorney Daniel Kalish
Aspects of Pregnancy Discrimination
Pregnant women have rights under the federal laws titled Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. FMLA provides specific leave periods for women who are pregnant, gave birth, or who have medical complications from either condition. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act protects pregnant women from adverse employment actions or other discriminatory behavior based on their pregnancy. Colorado’s Anti-Discrimination Act provides additional protections for employees within the state. Unlike federal laws, Colorado’s Anti-Discrimination Act requires that employers of all sizes, no matter how small, comply with nondiscrimination laws.
An employer may not discriminate against a woman because of pregnancy or childbirth in the following stages of an employment relationship:
- Interviewing and hiring
- Benefits or wages
- Demotions, promotions, or transfers
- Retaliation for taking leaves of absence
- Discipline, dismissal or termination
An employer may not use pregnancy or childbirth as the basis for any adverse employment decisions. However, an employer may take action against a pregnant employee is her work is not satisfactory or productive in another way. Pregnancy discrimination claims can sometimes follow a valid employment decision, and these employers should seek legal representation to help defend them against unfounded claims. Similarly, employees who have been discriminated against deserve quality legal counsel, as well.
If you believe you are being discriminated against due to your pregnancy, contact a Colorado employment law attorney at HKM Employment Attorneys today to discuss your case.