The fact that a woman has children, is pregnant or is planning on having a family in the future could hold them back in the workforce. This treatment is not only unfair but is considered employment discrimination. This could also create a hostile work environment, especially if the woman is experiencing wage discrimination or not receiving a well-deserved promotion.
When a woman in the work environment announces that she is pregnant, any changes to her treatment by staff and supervisors could trigger a cause of action based on discrimination. A recent report focused on the sensitivity and care employers should take when an employee is pregnant. Changes in the work environment or work schedule do not only create a hardship for the expecting employee, but could also lead to a hostile work environment.
A recent case that dealt with pregnancy discrimination involved a nurse who cared for disabled patients. When rumors spread that she was pregnant, she was removed from the schedule. It was alleged that the manager stated that pregnant nurses couldn’t do their jobs and should not be allowed at work. This disparaging comment was used as evidence of different treatment towards pregnant employees in this work environment. This led to her quitting and suing based on discrimination.
Whether a woman is pregnant or has children, discrimination in the workplace based on a worker’s maternal duties could lead to a cause of action. The woman could seek compensation based on the damages experienced in the situation.
No matter what type of discrimination a worker believes they are enduring, they should take the necessary steps to better the situation. If the situation remains hostile, it could help to learn more about how to protect and preserve rights and interests in the situation.
Source: Business Management Daily “Focus on expectant mom’s work performance, not her pregnancy,” Dec. 18, 2013