When you have a child on the way, you need career and financial stability more than ever. After all, you will soon be financially responsible for a completely dependent young person. Unfortunately, pregnancy can be a hard time to develop your career.
Despite federal laws forbidding discrimination based on pregnancy, it is still a common issue that women experience in the workplace. One of the ways that pregnancy discrimination hurts expectant mothers is through the loss of employment opportunities.
If you lost a new job offer or a promotion opportunity because a business found out about your pregnancy, their actions likely constitute discrimination.
Your pregnancy shouldn’t affect your employability
Many women successfully juggle the responsibilities of motherhood with the obligations of a career. A woman may even have a planned pregnancy with a husband who will stay home with her children while she works full time.
However, employers may assume that a mother will need more time off of work or may be less committed to her role with the company than a single person or a father would be. Such presumption may lead to you suddenly losing a promotion when management had already made it clear that they had selected you. It might also mean that you lose a job offer after an in-person interview exposes your clearly pregnant appearance to human resources.
Companies shouldn’t ask you about any medical conditions or family plans. They also shouldn’t factor those matters in when making crucial decisions, like whom to hire or promote. Considering a woman’s gender or pregnancy status is a form of sex-based discrimination.
How do you prove pregnancy discrimination?
Often, showing that a company was likely discriminatory in their actions will require establishing a specific timeline of events or narrative. Your written communications with the company may play a significant role in developing the story of what happened. The timing of the negative decisions about the promotion or job offer will also be important.
With the right documentation, you may be able to build a convincing case that your pregnancy was the deciding factor in the company’s decision about your employment. Fighting back against pregnancy discrimination as a common form of sex discrimination will protect you and benefit future women who might work for the same company.