Pregnancy Discrimination In The Workplace
Most employers understand that mothers need some time away from work to care for a newborn baby. In other situations, expecting mothers may require time away from work due to medical restrictions. Federal laws are in place to ensure that expecting mothers have adequate time to care for newborns. In spite of these laws, some employers take adverse actions against pregnant women, or women who have just given birth. Carter Law Offices is dedicated to representing women who have been the victims of employment discrimination, including discrimination on the basis of pregnancy. Our pregnancy discrimination lawyers take great pride in giving a voice to those who cannot stand up for their own rights.
If you’ve faced discrimination by your employer because you are pregnant or have recently had a child, call our Kansas City office today at 816-897-7772 for a free consultation to discuss your situation.
Federal Laws Protect Most Expecting Mothers
The Family and Medical Leave Act applies to most employers. This law gives employees the right to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave under a number of circumstances, including pregnancy. Many expecting mothers use the FMLA to care for a child immediately after the child is born. One feature of the FMLA is that employers are required to reinstate employees to the same job, or an equivalent job, upon their return from leave. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) requires that employers treat pregnant women in the same way they would treat other employees.
Pregnant Women And Discrimination In The Workplace
Unfortunately, many women return from leave to find that their original job has been filled, or that they are “not needed anymore.” In other cases, pregnant women are treated differently than other employees, in violation of the law. Carter Law Offices has represented many victims of unlawful discrimination throughout Kansas City and beyond. We know that in most cases, employers will use some kind of pretense in an attempt to explain away their actions. We will get to the facts of the matter to show what really happened and recover the damages you are entitled to under the law. These damages can include reinstatement, back pay, front pay and damages for emotional distress. Punitive damages may also apply.
Forms Of Pregnancy Discrimination In The Workplace
Many people think that pregnancy discrimination is obvious in that it applies, but unfortunately like many other forms of discrimination it can be insidious and difficult to notice in all of its different applications. One of the more difficult to determine examples of pregnancy discrimination is being denied a job because of your pregnancy or potential for pregnancy. Most employers will not disclose the reason for why they denied you a job, so this is difficult to determine when you do not have inside information. It is generally illegal for potential employers to ask you about your plans for pregnancy during an interview, and this can raise a suspicion that their decision was based on this fact.
Another common form of pregnancy discrimination is losing your job shortly after revealing that you are pregnant. Many employers will not disclose why they fired you, however if there was no other explanation for why they fired you they may have given you a pretextual reason for your termination because they believed that your pregnancy would interfere with your ability to work, despite that being illegal.
Many women also experience discrimination in the form of harassment or a failure to accommodate your pregnancy at work. Employers with 50 or more employees are required to provide you with breaks to pump breast milk, and a safe, private location in which to do so that is not a restroom. Failing to do so, or worse discouraging you from pumping is a serious form of discrimination. In addition to this, if you have other reasonable accommodations that your employer is refusing to provide you that are related to your pregnancy. This can contribute to a hostile work environment based on your pregnancy, which can also encompass verbal harassment against you on the basis of your pregnancy.
Lastly, your employer may retaliate against you because you raised an issue over pregnancy discrimination that was committed against you. This will usually be accompanied by a pretextual excuse for your termination that is unrelated to the complaint that you raised over your treatment. As you can see, there are many ways in which you can be discriminated against, and it can be hard to detect without the help of a skilled employment law attorney who understands these issues.
Call Carter Law Offices
If you were fired, demoted or suffered some other adverse action at your job because of a pregnancy, our employment law attorneys can help you protect your rights. To schedule a free consultation at our Kansas City law office, contact us online or call 816-897-7772.