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Bryan E. Kuhn
Counselor at Law, P.C.
Business & Employment Law Attorney

What is pregnancy discrimination?

If you feel like your employer, colleagues or supervisors treat you differently because of pregnancy or a pregnancy-related condition; you could be experiencing pregnancy discrimination. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission defines pregnancy discrimination as treating an employee or potential employee as unfavorable because of pregnancy, childbirth, or other conditions.

If you still have uncertainties about your current situation at work, there are multiple signs to look for.

Is your work environment hostile?

No person has the right to harass you at work. Harassment may include persistent teasing, taunting or threats due to your pregnancy. While the occasional teasing does not constitute discrimination, it could be pregnancy discrimination if you feel like the work environment became hostile or offensive due to the harassment.

In addition, your supervisors or employers cannot fire or demote you based on your condition. If you feel like your supervisor treats you differently after your pregnancy, you may be able to prove discrimination.

Has your employer denied your rights?

You have the same rights as any other employee. When pregnant, you also have the same rights as an employee with a temporary disability. Your employer must make accommodations for you, within reason. For example, if you cannot lift heavy objects, your employer should reduce your workload for the time being. The employer cannot single you out because of the pregnancy.

However, you may have to provide a doctor’s note that explains your condition and your limitations in some cases. The employer can ask for the same documentation he or she asks for from other employees. However, he or she cannot deny your request based on his or her feelings about pregnancy.

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