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What Is Considered Discrimination Against Pregnant Workers?

Pregnancy is a time of happiness and looking forward to having a child enhance the family. While you and your spouse may be anxiously waiting for the arrival of a new baby, your employer may not make your work life easy. Discrimination against pregnant women workers happens regularly in many workplaces, but there are laws to help protect you or allow you to gain compensation if it happens to you.

What is considered discrimination against pregnant workers? These are just a few instances.

No Reasonable Accommodation

Pregnant workers may need certain accommodation or amendments made to how they do their work. As the pregnancy reaches the later stages, the employee may not be able to do some of the requirements of your job. For example, you may not be able to lift heavy objects anymore, or you may not be able to stand for long periods of time.

You may also not be able to follow the dress code or wear the uniform provided for a certain time period. If your employer doesn't accommodate the changes you need to make, this could be considered discrimination.

Forced Time Off Or Job Change

Another form of discrimination is your employer may have tried to force you to take time off. You may be planning for your maternity leave, but your employer wants you to take time off before you are ready to. This could lead to adverse effects on your income, and it's discrimination against you if you are still able to perform your job effectively.

You may also be forced to change jobs during your pregnancy. It could be to a less high-profile position or to one you are overqualified for. This could be that your employer wants to hide you from sight or doesn't have faith in your ability to continue to do your work to the best of your ability. You may have a case against discrimination if you are still able to do your work.

Passed Over For Promotion

If there is a promotion you are up for and you may have been told you will get the job, but are passed over for it due to your pregnancy, this is a form of discrimination. If you have all the required experience and education for a certain position, but are never considered for it, you might have a potential lawsuit claim against your employer.


In some cases, pregnant workers are harassed at work. This could be by fellow employees or by their superiors. This creates a hostile work environment and mostly serves to force you to leave your job or to go on maternity leave early. If your employer fails to protect you from other workers or if they are harassing you at work during your pregnancy, you have a case against discrimination.

For more information, reach out to a local employment lawyer.