How to Spot Pregnancy Discrimination in the Workplace

Workplace discrimination takes many forms, and pregnancy discrimination is one of them. However, many women assume that they simply have to endure this type of discrimination, while other women may even be forced to quit their jobs. The reality, though, is that federal law protects women from pregnancy discrimination in the workplace.

To stop pregnancy discrimination, it's important to know what it looks like. Here are some things to be aware of.

Pregnancy discrimination can be blatant or subtle, and it may occur before or after you are hired.

If an employer doesn't hire you or demotes you on the basis of your pregnancy, the action may be due to pregnancy discrimination.

More blatant forms of pregnancy discrimination include name-calling and unwanted comments about pregnancy.

Pregnancy discrimination often occurs in relation to maternity leave.

In far too many cases, women take maternity leave and return to work to find that their jobs are not waiting for them as expected. The employer may provide reasons for the termination or demotion, but often it is due to retaliation for taking maternity leave.

Pregnancy discrimination also occurs when an employer tries to limit or deny maternity leave or sick time related to pregnancy, or even when an employer denies you restroom breaks or makes unwanted comments about them.

This type of workplace discrimination can come from employers, managers, co-workers and customers.

No matter who is the source of this type of discrimination, if you report it, your employer has a responsibility to take appropriate action to stop it. If your employer fails to take that action, your employer can be held legally accountable.

Make no mistake: pregnancy discrimination in the workplace is illegal, and pregnant women have legal recourse.

If you believe you have been discriminated against because of your pregnancy, you should speak with an employment law attorney as soon as possible. A Texas employment lawyer can listen to your concerns and explain your legal options. Depending on the facts of the case, you may be able to get your job back, or you may be entitled to compensation.