It's been over 35 years since the Pregnancy and Discrimination Act was passed, and yet pregnant women are still discriminated against in the work force. Such discrimination is illegal, but it can happen even before you become pregnant, through pregnancy and childbirth, and even after your child is born. It's important to know what pregnancy discrimination looks like and what laws protect you from such discrimination.
In 2015, the EEOC received approximately 90,000 employment discrimination claims. That is the number of Americans who realized they were the victims of discrimination and chose to speak up by filing a federal claim. Yet, it does not approach the true number of people affected by discrimination every year.
Accepting employment with a company is generally a straightforward affair, with employees doing the work for which they were hired and employers paying them regularly and on time for their work. However, disputes can arise that may lead to termination. When an employee feels they have been terminated (laid off or fired) unfairly, they may choose to file a lawsuit charging "wrongful discharge."
Most people who sign typical employment contracts agree to "at-will" employment without ever questioning the term. It is only when they face termination that they begin to ask, "What does at-will employment mean?" and "Am I being fired illegally?"
Discrimination in the workplace can manifest itself in many ways. Individuals can be harassed due to their race, sex, ethnicity, disability, age and other various classifications. Unfortunately, workplace discrimination is very common and if not confronted, can cause a great deal of physical, emotional and mental suffering.