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What does your pregnancy mean for your employment rights?

If you are pregnant, you understand this will affect many areas of your life, but you may not expect a potentially negative impact on your career. Unfortunately, pregnancy discrimination is a real issue for many Oregon women. If you are experiencing unlawful treatment from your employer as a result of your pregnancy, you have options.

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act is an amendment to the Civil Rights Act, making it illegal for an employer to discriminate against a woman for pregnancy, childbirth and other medical issues that relate to pregnancy. Employers who violate this law may be subject to legal action. As a victim, you could have grounds to move forward with a civil claim.

Speaking out against negative treatment

Sometimes, victims of various types of mistreatment in the workplace may be unsure that what they are experiencing qualifies as discrimination. When it comes to your pregnancy and your rights, it may be helpful to understand the following:

  • Pregnant women should receive the same treatment as other employees.
  • Employers cannot refuse to hire pregnant women as long as they are able to perform the major functions of the job.
  • Women must be allowed to continue to work as their pregnancies progress, up until the point they are no longer able to perform the basic functions of their jobs.
  • If a woman cannot perform her job because of her pregnancy, the employer must treat her in the same way as other temporarily disabled employees.

If you have concerns about your rights, you have the right to seek guidance regarding a possible civil claim against your employer. Pregnant women deserve to work and earn an income as long as they are able, and you have the right to a workplace free from harassment and any type of discrimination.

What are your options?

If you believe you are the victim of pregnancy discrimination, a beneficial first step for you may be a complete evaluation of your case. This can help you understand your legal options and provide an explanation of the appropriate course of legal action.

Employment law cases are complex, and it is not always easy to determine if there are valid grounds to move forward with a claim. However, you do not have to make this determination on your own. You will find it beneficial to reach out as soon as possible after experiencing potentially illegal and inappropriate treatment from your employer.

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