After dedicating decades to a corporation, some women find that their supervisors and co-workers begin treating them differently. It sometimes takes a while, but eventually, they realize their menopause symptoms are responsible.
As you know, menopause brings visible indicators such as excessive perspiration and face flushing due to hot flashes. Other employees might not understand what is going on, so they may act differently toward you out of concern.
Currently, menopause is not a protected characteristic under Michigan or federal law, so you cannot file a discrimination claim based on menopause.
Other options to consider
Menopause usually begins just as women are poised to enter the height of their careers. Unfortunately, employers sometimes react to menopause in a way that could harm women employees, such as barring them from lucrative clients or accounts. You may have a case for:
- Gender discrimination: Basing your claim on gender discrimination could prove successful since only women experience menopause. You may have grounds for such a claim if your superiors treat you differently than younger women or male counterparts.
- Workplace verbal harassment: Jokes about your age or condition can lead to a hostile work environment and is another way gender discrimination may occur.
- Age discrimination: Since menopause begins at a relatively specific age, usually after 40, you could make a case for age discrimination. For example, your employer may not treat you differently or hide you from the public because of your age-related symptoms.
- Disability discrimination: Denying a request for workplace accommodations (like a desk fan or extra bathroom breaks, etc.) could also be a form of unfair treatment.
Instead of accepting mistreatment in the workplace, continue exploring all possible legal options. Experienced guidance can help you decide what moves to make next.