If you or your partner is pregnant, you’ll probably be eager to share the happy news with everyone you know. However, you may feel some hesitation or reluctance when it comes to sharing the news with those with whom you work. You may worry that by sharing the news with your manager, you could be risking future promotions or career opportunities.
While this consideration is a reasonable one, there should be no reason why your decision to start a family should affect your potential for career success in any way. Pregnant workers are protected from discrimination under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. Therefore, if you believe that you are being discriminated against due to your pregnancy or because your employer believes that you may become pregnant in the future, you must learn more about your rights.
Your rights under the pregnancy discrimination act
If you are employed by a company that has 15 or more employees, you are protected by the Pregnancy Discrimination act. This means that your employer cannot take negative action against you, before or after making the decision to hire you, based on your pregnancy or your gender.
For example, if you applied for a job and your employer inquired whether you intend to become pregnant in the near future, this would be unacceptable because it is likely that they are considering your answer when deciding whether to hire you.
Similarly, if you are fired shortly after you announce that you are pregnant, you will have good reason to question whether the decision to fire you was based on you becoming pregnant. If you take legal action and it is found that this was the case, you will be able to gain damages or have your job reinstated as a result.
Your rights when taking leave for pregnancy-related issues
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) makes it possible for most pregnant workers to take job-protected leave for issues relating to pregnancy. This means that they will be able to take leave before and after giving birth without facing any negative consequences.
If you want to ensure that your rights are being respected during and after your pregnancy, you should consider the way your employer has acted toward you.