Because pregnancy discrimination targets women, it falls under the category of sex discrimination. Pregnancy discrimination is any unfair treatment of a woman who is pregnant, has recently given birth, or has had medical complications regarding her child birth or pregnancy. A hostile work environment is said to have been created when the harassment and discrimination that the victim has been subjected to becomes prevalent enough that it negatively impacts her ability to perform her job. Sadly, countless numbers of women in Missouri have been the victims of pregnancy discrimination over the years, as they struggle under the thumb of cruel and uncaring employers. If you or a loved one have experienced a hostile work environment because of a pregnancy or recent birth, a St. Louis lawyer with the HKM Employment Attorneys is here to provide immediate assistance.
Hostile Work Environments are Prevalent Across the Country and State
Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the 1978 Pregnancy Discrimination Act, it is illegal for an employer to discriminate against women and mothers in the workplace due to their protected class. The Missouri Human Rights Act provides state level protections for pregnant women and new mothers as well. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and state agencies filed over 5,000 pregnancy discrimination charges in 2013, according to Fortune. Female employees across all industries and of all income levels experience pregnancy discrimination, though hostile work environments hit lower waged workers hardest, according to the Washington Post. This is in-part caused by employer’s reluctance to make reasonable accommodations for pregnant women, such as allowing more frequent bathroom breaks, water, and something as simple as a stool for a position that normally requires standing for long periods of time.
Examples of Pregnancy Discrimination that Have Created a Hostile Work Environment
- Harassing pregnant employees;
- Making jokes, cruel comments, or using threats;
- Excluding the pregnant employee;
- Not promoting or giving raises to women because they are pregnant;
- Not making reasonable accommodations for pregnant women;
- Firing or refusing to hire a women because she is pregnant, has recently given birth, or plans to become pregnant;
- Asking a female applicant during an interview whether or not she plans to have children in the next few years;
- Refusing to cover pregnancy medical expenses through health care packages;
- Retaliating an employee for asking reasonable accommodations to be made or for filing a discrimination complaint; and
- Not allowing the employee to return to their normal position and pay following a leave of absence covered by the Family and Medical Leave Act.
Contact a St. Louis Hostile Work Environment Lawyer for Assistance Today
Employers are obligated by state and federal laws to provide pregnant women and new mothers with equal employment opportunities, as with any other employee. Employers are also obligated to foster a safe and healthy work environment for all of their employees, and when they have violated this obligation, they need to be held responsible. The St. Louis lawyers with HKM Employment Attorneys LLP have represented victimized employees in all types of discrimination cases, and have the experience and resources to go up against small and large employers alike. Call us today.