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Common Examples Of Pregnancy Discrimination

Discrimination based on pregnancy may be obvious – “You’re fired because you are pregnant.” But in many cases, it’s much more subtle. Failing to make reasonable accommodations for pregnancy-related conditions or forcing a female employer to take unnecessary medical leave because she is pregnant are also forms of pregnancy discrimination.

For women working in retail, the restaurant industry as a server or hostess, in a cleaning or hospitality position or any similar job, pregnancy discrimination may happen more often than anyone would like to believe. A change in regularly scheduled hours or shifts because of your pregnancy or an unwillingness to allow additional rest or water breaks is a common example of pregnancy discrimination.


An employer who tells you to immediately take leave after finding out you are pregnant, despite medical leave being unnecessary at that point may be pregnancy discrimination. Forcing medical leave when it’s not needed means that it may be exhausted or used up if you actually end up needing more time off.

Forced medical leave and other types of pregnancy discrimination unfairly target the ability of expectant mothers to earn or save money for their growing family. Women should not still be losing jobs simply for having a baby. If you have been discriminated against, harassed or unable to secure reasonable accommodation from your employer because of a pregnancy, an employment lawyer can help you understand your rights.

Source: The American Prospect, “Our Customers Don’t Want a Pregnant Waitress,” January 31, 2013

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