It is your right to decide whether you want to have children or not and when you do decide, no employer can make you suffer for your decision. The law directs that all employers, including yours, must recognize your right to have children and not do anything to impede it. However, women suffer discrimination in the workplace all the same.
No one should have to suffer from pregnancy discrimination in the workplace. A pregnancy is a happy affair. You should not have to fear that you will lose your job or opportunities to advance your career as a result of it. If your employer has applied unfair or discriminatory standards to you because of your pregnancy, or if he or she has treated you differently, you may have a claim for pregnancy discrimination.
The federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act stipulates that no woman should be discriminated against in any aspect of her employment because of pregnancy. In Kansas, Acts Against Discrimination statutes make it illegal for an employer to treat an employee unfairly simply because of her pregnancy or childbirth.
There are many situations that are covered by pregnancy discrimination. It is not limited to just when a woman is treated differently because she is pregnant. According to the Kansas Human Rights Commission (KHRC), pregnancy discrimination also applies to the time after a woman gives birth. A woman may have special needs at the period of her child’s birth or immediately thereafter. If she is treated unfairly at work because she has given birth, then she may have been discriminated against.
Pregnancy discrimination can also exist in situations in which a woman is unable to carry a baby to term or when she does carry the baby to term but loses it at birth. If she is not allowed the period that she needs in order to fully recover, or if she is made to suffer for the work that she missed, she could have a case for pregnancy discrimination.
What Would Amount to Pregnancy Discrimination?
Pregnancy discrimination occurs in varied circumstances. It may be obvious. Then again, it may not be so obvious. Under Kansas Administrative Regulations (Section 21-32-6), examples of pregnancy discrimination may include the following:
- Harassment at the workplace on account of a pregnancy-induced absence
- Refusing to pay benefits to a woman on account of pregnancy
- Taking key responsibilities away from the pregnant woman and transferring them to other employees.
- Expecting the same level of work as others from a pregnant woman
- Refusing to approve leaves of absence because of earlier absence caused by pregnancy
- Refusing to hire a pregnant woman because of concerns over her productivity
- Paying lower wages to a woman who had a pregnancy and had to take a few days off for medical appointments
- Reserving positions of seniority for women who are past childbearing age or women who have no plans to have a baby
Hostile Work Environment on Account of Pregnancy
Harassment on account of pregnancy can be quite serious and can create a hostile work environment. This occurs when the discrimination against a person prevents him or her from doing his or her job. If you have been harassed on account of your pregnancy to this extent, you should talk to an experienced Kansas employment rights lawyer.
Speak to a Pregnancy Discrimination Attorney in Kansas City Today
If you suspect your employer discriminated against you or you were denied a job as a result of your pregnancy, take legal action and contact HKM Employment Attorneys. Our team of skilled employment lawyers stands ready to help.