Pregnant women all across the country are still finding discrimination in the workplace a problem when it comes to motherhood. Approximately 31,000 charges were filed for discrimination against pregnant women in the U.S. from 2010 to 2015. That averages around 6,000 per year.
One 30-year-old woman working for an Atlanta Walmart Distribution Center was fired this past June after admitting to her supervisor she was pregnant. When she began having morning sickness at work and requested a break from her job as a packer, her supervisor said she must have a note from her doctor.
Her doctor gave her a note that also suggested she avoid heavy lifting while at work. Since getting help with lifting was common for her anyway, she didn’t expect there to be a problem. However, when she gave the note to her supervisor, she was told to take it to human resources, who would not allow her to return to work until after the baby was born. She was told she had to apply for unpaid leave of absence if she wanted to retain her job at all.
The woman was single and was left to struggle financially throughout her pregnancy. After contacting a family rights advocacy group, she found that Walmart had a history of pregnancy discrimination claims. The advocacy group, A Better Balance, has joined with other groups and filed a discrimination charge with the EEOC on the woman’s behalf. The director of A Better Balance says, “It’s ridiculous that they could not find a job for Ms. Tomlinson. She was flexible and willing to move stores.”
It is unfortunate that Walmart or any other company would not attempt to accommodate a pregnant women, especially early in the pregnancy stages. But more than that, it is against the law to discriminate in this way, not only in Georgia, but in Michigan and the other states across the country.
If you are facing any type of workplace discrimination, don’t fight it alone. An attorney can fight for you. You have rights and the laws were enacted to protect those rights.
Source: CNN Health, “Fired for being pregnant: Another kind of discrimination women face at work,” Elissa Strauss, Feb. 01, 2018