It is illegal for an employer to treat you unfairly because of pregnancy, childbirth, or pregnancy-related conditions. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the 1978 Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) provide protections against employers who discriminate against and harass pregnant employees and new parents. These protections cover any term or condition of employment, including but not limited to hiring, firing, pay, job assignment, promotion, layoff, training, leave, health insurance, or other fringe benefits. The Missouri Human Rights Act (MHRA) also provides protections for pregnant women and new mothers at the state level.
Employers are becoming more and more educated about how to hide discrimination every day, so sometimes the signs of unfavorable treatment are difficult to see. However, some examples of pregnancy discrimination and harassment are:
- During a job interview for four vacant positions, an interviewer asks a woman if she has any children and the woman replies that she is three-months pregnant. The woman is not hired, but finds out later that four less-qualified applicants who are not pregnant were hired instead.
- A woman notifies her boss that she is expecting a child and the company terminates her the next day because they want someone who won’t need to take leave the month that she is expected to give birth.
- A company fires a pregnant woman because they don’t want their group health plan rates to increase due to her pregnancy.
- A chain of trendy clothing stores fires a pregnant woman because she no longer has the slender look that the company thinks is desirable to its clientele.
- A mother-to-be is fired for requesting FMLA leave for bed rest due to pregnancy complications.
- An employer refuses to allow a new mother to take short breaks throughout the day to pump breastmilk for her newborn.
- A father-to-be is demoted when he requests leave to care for his newborn while his wife recovers from a caesarian section.
If you believe your employer is discriminating or harassing you because of pregnancy, pregnancy-related conditions, or your new family, we can help. Burkhart Legal has represented plaintiffs in a wide variety of employment discrimination cases. Give us a call today!< News & Resources