Getting pregnant with a child is an exciting time in your life. You may want to share the good news with coworkers or your employer, so you can start making plans for your maternity leave and in case you’re unable to come to work due to appointments.
If your employer retaliates after finding out that you got pregnant, then it’s reasonable to be surprised and hurt. You should also be aware that it is illegal to retaliate against pregnant women. You should not have your schedule changed or employment threatened just because you are pregnant.
The Pregnancy Discrimination Act protects you
The Pregnancy Discrimination Act does protect you against unfair treatment due to being pregnant. The PDA protect you in all aspects of your work including:
- During hiring
- During firing
- When making job assignments
- When applying to a job
- When determining fringe benefits
- During layoffs
- During training
- When determining promotions
The PDA covers employers with 15 or more employees, so if you work at a casino or other busy workplace, you are likely covered.
Your employer is not allowed to treat you unfavorably because of a medical condition related to pregnancy, a medical condition related to childbirth, childbirth itself or pregnancy alone. In fact, if you cannot do your work temporarily because of pregnancy or childbirth, your employer should treat you in the same way as any other employee who may be temporarily disabled.
If you can do your job better with reasonable accommodations, such as taking more regular breaks or using a chair during your shift, then your employer should provide those accommodations to you so long as they do not cause an unreasonable hardship for them.
What should you do if you’re discriminated against?
If you are discriminated against for being pregnant, keep as much evidence of that discrimination on hand as you can. If you are not a federal employee, you have up to 180 days to make your claim. Federal employees have up to 45 days. This is something to keep in mind as you take steps to protect your rights as an employee in the United States.