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What does pregnancy discrimination look like?

On Behalf of | Apr 28, 2020 | workplace discrimination |

Expecting mothers in Pennsylvania often choose to continue working throughout their pregnancy. In fact, many also plan on returning after maternity leave. So why do pregnant women still face discrimination in the workplace? 

A pregnant woman may not even realize that she is facing discrimination. Today we will look at what this discrimination may look like in your workplace. It is hard to detect in some cases, making it difficult to track. 

Subtle discrimination against pregnant workers 

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission looks at all types of discrimination. When it comes to discrimination against pregnant women, they delve into all aspects. 

But some forms of pregnancy discrimination are subtle and hard to pin down. In fact, there is often very little overt bullying or harassment of the pregnant woman. Many get “iced out” instead. For example, coworkers may stop sending you invitations to gatherings outside of work. Supervisors may review your work with harsher criticism than before. This happens despite nothing changing on your end. Employers may stop discussing promotions or raises with you. 

Why does this discrimination happen? 

This is often done in an attempt to get the pregnant person to quit. Under anti-discrimination laws, an employer cannot fire you for being pregnant. Since they cannot do this, they may try to bully you into leaving on your own. 

Why does this happen? Answers differ from workplace to workplace. Many employers claim they believe the women will not return to work after giving birth. Some think it is impossible to work to the same level as before while pregnant. In any case, if you notice that you are being left out or targeted, it may be a sign of discrimination.