Women account for roughly half of the workforce, and many working women in Pennsylvania and other parts of the U.S. may become pregnant or give birth during their careers. Unfortunately, pregnancy discrimination occurs frequently in the workplace. This type of discrimination involves treating a woman unfavorably because of pregnancy or a medical issue that arises due to childbirth or pregnancy.
The law forbids any form of workplace discrimination, including discrimination based on pregnancy. Employers are forbidden to discriminate based on pregnancy in any aspect of employment such as firing, hiring, job pay, layoffs, promotions, training, and health insurance.
Pregnant women who feel that appropriate considerations are not or have not been made by their employers can take several steps to protect themselves. First, they should learn about their legal rights by reviewing their company’s pregnancy discrimination policy. They should also refrain from putting their physical or mental health in jeopardy for the sake of their job. Rather than waiting for the company or management to decide what’s best for them, they should be assertive because the health of their unborn baby is also at risk. Women should determine what’s reasonable for themselves during their pregnancies. They should think carefully about how far they’re willing to go to meet their work demands.
Employers and employees need to work together to reach agreements that benefit both parties. Sometimes, the interests of each party conflict with one another. Women who feel they’re being discriminated against because of pregnancy should consider consulting with an experienced workplace discrimination attorney. Laws are designed to protect women against mistreatment, and an attorney may be able to advocate for the rights of an employee to help her reach a fair outcome that protects both her and her baby.