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Forms of workplace pregnancy discrimination you should know

There can be a lot of excitement when you learn that you are expecting a child. However, the situation might become tainted if your employer responds inappropriately to the announcement.

Laws in the United States protect women from workplace discrimination for the duration of their pregnancy. No one should have to live in fear of sharing such wonderful news. If you just found out that you are expecting, keep an eye out for these three signs of pregnancy discrimination so that you can fight back when necessary.

Employment status

If you currently have a job, your employer cannot suddenly terminate your position because you are pregnant. This practice, along with other forms of discrimination, violates the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. If your boss claims to have another reason for firing you, he or she will need to have substantial evidence supporting it.

Likewise, if you are in the process of finding a job, a prospective employer cannot base the hiring decision on your pregnancy. If you are physically capable of performing the duties and have the right experience, you deserve as much of a chance as any other candidate.

Job responsibilities

As you advance further into your pregnancy, you may need to adjust certain job tasks to accommodate your condition. Your employer should be accepting of this need. There should be a willingness to adapt your responsibilities as your doctor sees fit. If your boss insists that you perform all required duties, at the potential risk of your health or that of your child, this is discrimination.


You do not have to put up with derogatory comments from co-workers or supervisors, especially during your pregnancy. If you experience any form of verbal abuse, your employer’s human resources department should intervene to resolve the issue. In some cases, you may need to seek further help if the harassment runs company deep.

In addition to these signs, be aware of your employer’s policies on maternity leave. The Family and Medical Leave Act grants you certain rights, and thorough knowledge can help you determine if your employer is mistreating you.

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