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Pregnancy Discrimination On The Rise

November 29th, 2019 Victoria Breese

Pregnancy discrimination in the workplace occurs when a female employee or job applicant is treated less favorably due to pregnancy, childbirth, or medical complications arising from pregnancy or childbirth. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 forbids employers from discriminating against pregnant women in the workplace. This discrimination ban includes all aspects of employment, including but not limited to, pay, layoffs, firing, hiring, and health insurance. From Walmart to Wall Street, this type of discrimination is rampant among America’s biggest industries.

Is Pregnancy A Disability Under The Law?

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act requires employers to treat pregnant employees similar to temporarily disabled employees. When someone’s pregnancy or temporary disability interferes with job responsibilities, an employer must reasonably accommodate him or her. A few examples of reasonable accommodations include modified tasks, periodic breaks, alternative assignments, or disability leave. Certain medical complications associated with pregnancy and childbirth, such as gestational diabetes, may also call for disability leave under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA). If being pregnant is causing you hardship at work, you should ask your employer for a reasonable accommodation. It’s illegal for an employer to refuse you a reasonable accommodation due to pregnancy.

Pregnancy Discrimination and the Wage Gap

The gender wage gap between men and women might be better named the pregnancy wage gap. Men and women have fairly comparable salaries when they first enter the workforce in young adulthood. However, the wage gap takes a sharp increase around a woman’s late twenties and early thirties–when most women have children. The average wage gap between all men and women in the United States is roughly 80 cents for every dollar that men earn. However, a 2015 study found that childless, unmarried women earn 96 cents for every dollar a man earns. It is illegal to pay a woman less than other employees solely on the basis of whether she is pregnant. 

Pregnancy and The Hiring Process

It’s illegal to refuse to hire a woman because she is pregnant as long as she can still perform the essential functions of a job. Certain inappropriate questions in a job interview may indicate that you are being discriminated against. For example, an interviewer may ask: what are your childcare plans? Do you have any other children? Do you plan to have more children? If you think you have been discriminated against for being pregnant during the hiring process you should seek the expertise of a legal professional. 

Seek Legal Assistance

If you have experienced pregnancy discrimination in the workplace, seek legal assistance today. The Working Solutions Law Firm, located in New York City, can assist you. Contact us today at (646) 430-7930 to schedule a free case evaluation and receive experienced legal counsel. You don’t pay unless we win.