Pregnancy is an exciting time, but many women find that, unfortunately, their current condition can lead to certain types of problems at work. While there are both federal and Oregon state laws in place to prevent discrimination, it still happens. If you believe that you are experiencing negative treatment at work because you are pregnant, you do not have to simply accept it.
Pregnancy discrimination is illegal, and you do not have to stand for it. You have the right to fight back, as well as to seek compensation from liable parties. You may feel unsure of your options or uncertain as to whether you should even speak up, but you do not have to walk through this alone.
Ways that you may be experiencing pregnancy discrimination
Pregnancy discrimination can come in many forms. In fact, you may be unsure if you are actually experiencing discriminatory behavior due to your pregnancy. This type of discrimination includes any negative behavior or unfavorable treatment toward a woman because she is pregnant, including both current employees and applicants. It can affect any aspect of your current or potential employment, including:
- Current job duties
- Pay scale
If you believe that your pregnancy affected any of the above or another aspect of your employment, you may have grounds for a civil claim on the basis of discrimination.
Should you have reasonable accommodations?
If your pregnancy keeps you from performing some of your normal job duties, federal laws require your employer to treat you as he or she would treat any other employee who is dealing with a temporary disability. In this situation, you may be entitled to:
- Unpaid leave
- Alternative job assignments
- Light duty
- Disability leave
In addition to reasonable accommodations, you also have the right to a workplace that is free from harassment, either physical, verbal or other types of harassment.
Your right to fight back
It can be disheartening, confusing and even embarrassing to experience any type of discrimination in the workplace. Pregnancy should be an exciting time for you and your family, and your employer or co-workers do not have the right to treat you differently or negatively because of your current medical condition.
You may feel unsure of how you can fight back, but the first step could simply be to reach out for a complete explanation of your legal rights and the options available to you. You will then be better equipped to make a decision that is most appropriate for your situation.