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How Can I Tell My Employer About My Pregnancy?

October 21st, 2019
pregnant women

Many female employees experience anxiety about telling an employer that they are pregnant due to pregnancy discrimination. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act makes it illegal for companies with at least 15 employees to base employment decisions on an employee’s pregnancy. This includes pay, benefits, hiring, and firing, and provides certain accommodations and protections. In 2008, the Americans with Disabilities Act was amended, and employers were made to provide accommodations for pregnant women with conditions that qualify as disabilities.

Pregnancy Discrimination

Thousands of pregnancy discrimination cases are filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission each year. Victims faced harassment, discriminatory treatment, or were simply fired. Research also shows that an even larger number were denied requests for accommodations, such as prenatal doctor visits, less demanding work duties, and frequent breaks. More subtle examples of pregnancy discrimination include being passed over for assignments and promotions, or not being invited to important meetings.

CNN Health posted that although this discrimination is experienced by women of all economic classes, lower-income workers get the worst of it. This is because so many working-class females have more physically demanding jobs and therefore, require more accommodations. Only six percent of low-wage workers have access to paid maternity leave.

Sharing the Information with Employers

Before letting your boss know about your pregnancy, it is helpful to become familiar with local and federal laws that apply to family and medical leave. Reading the employee handbook to learn about your company’s policies is also important. It is best to let an employer know as soon as possible, especially if there are complications. The pregnant employee should tell the employer in a short initial meeting, with the promise to keep them notified. If accommodations are needed, this should be discussed. The employee should also devise a thoughtful plan to address how their work will be managed while they are on leave.

Protecting One’s Rights

Even though pregnancy discrimination is against the law, founding director of the Center for Work-Life Law said that by just having a job, a woman’s biology can easily become a liability to her supervisors, colleagues, and herself. Pregnant employees that suspect discrimination should document instances of mistreatment. Armed with this, they should speak with their supervisors; if this is not possible, the next choice is to contact the company’s human resources department. If the situation needs to be escalated, contacting a knowledgeable employment discrimination lawyer is advised.

Philadelphia Employment Discrimination Lawyers at The Gold Law Firm P.C. Help Employees Fight Pregnancy Discrimination in the Workplace

Pregnant employees have rights, and the compassionate Philadelphia employment discrimination lawyers at The Gold Law Firm P.C. will be on your side with sound legal guidance. For a free case evaluation, contact us online or call us at 215-569-1999 today. Located in Philadelphia and Pennsauken, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout Wilkes-Barre, Scranton, northeast Philadelphia, Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Montgomery County, and Cherry Hill, New Jersey.

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