Workplaces must treat their staff in a respectful and dignified manner at all times. Along with avoiding other types of discriminatory behavior, workplaces must also avoid pregnancy discrimination.
According to employment laws, discriminating against pregnant women is illegal and can result in fines, penalties, and other punishments. Here are a few things all pregnant workers must know about their rights.
What is pregnancy discrimination?
Treating a pregnant woman or new mother differently because of her status constitutes pregnancy discrimination. For instance, a woman cannot receive a demotion because she has become pregnant. Refusing to hire a pregnant woman due to her pregnancy is also not allowed, nor is failing to promote a woman simply because she is pregnant. All workers must receive the same treatment and have access to the same opportunities in the workplace, regardless of their status as a parent.
What if a pregnant woman is unable to do her job?
In some cases, a pregnant woman may have restrictions on her job duties due to her pregnancy. Accordingly, employers must treat the worker as though they have a temporary disability. This entails providing alternate work duties that are not as labor-intensive. In the event the worker must take time off, employers should do their best to accommodate them through paid or unpaid leave.
What constitutes harassment?
In addition to pregnancy discrimination, pregnant women can also experience harassment in the workplace. Harassment involves frequent instances of bad behavior directed at the pregnant woman, to the point where the workplace becomes hostile. Additionally, harassment can involve threats of firing or demotion if the employee finds faults with their poor treatment.
All workers have rights in the workplace, and understanding these rights ensures you can receive assistance when you need it. If you feel you have received poor treatment due to your pregnancy, do not hesitate to take swift action.