Women often continue to work long into their pregnancies and sometimes practically up until they give birth. However, employer discrimination against pregnant women is still widespread in this country.
Pregnant women are often denied promotions, raises and bonuses. Moreover, when they complain, many suffer retaliation, including the loss of their jobs. A New York Times investigation published this year found that even some of America’s largest companies “systematically sideline” pregnant employees. The public sector has seen its fair share of pregnancy discrimination claims as well.
This discrimination isn’t limited to women whose jobs involve physical labor, and therefore, some accommodations for their pregnancy like more frequent rest breaks or limitations on how much they can lift. Women high up on the corporate ladder of prestigious companies may find themselves left out of client meetings and not considered for plum assignments. The discrimination against these women is more subtle and often more difficult to prove. However, it can impact their careers and their income just the same.
The number of people going to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) with claims of pregnancy discrimination has steadily increased over the past 20 years. It’s higher than ever before. Among the companies on the receiving end of discrimination lawsuits are AT&T, KPMG, Merck, Whole Foods, Walmart and 21st Century Fox.
Despite many U.S. companies’ public proclamations about empowering women and their boasts about providing private lactation rooms for nursing mothers, some of these employers still have a long way to go when it comes to how they treat pregnant women in the workplace.
If you believe that you’ve been the victim of discrimination or retaliation in the workplace because of your pregnancy, it’s wise to seek the guidance of an experienced Arizona employment law attorney. They can evaluate your situation and help determine what legal options you may have.