Indianapolis Pregnancy Discrimination Lawyers Fight for You
Being pregnant can be a special experience full of ups and downs. It can also be a time when a woman is faced with workplace discrimination as a result. As one of the most common forms of discrimination women face in the workplace, pregnancy discrimination occurs far too often while being one of the more underreported types of discrimination. This is where a pregnancy discrimination lawyer is essential. If someone is facing this type of unfair treatment in the workplace, a pregnancy discrimination attorney may be the best bet in fighting this injustice.
Call The Law Office of Deidra N. Haynes today at 317-982-7396 for answers to your pregnancy discrimination questions.
Examples of Pregnancy Discrimination
It can be hard to recognize any type of discrimination, especially pregnancy discrimination. It may seem like the employer is trying to be helpful and understanding through certain actions, but the actions are rooted in discrimination against pregnant women. For example, if an employer reduces the hours scheduled for a pregnant employee because they assume the employee must want to rest due to her condition, this could be pregnancy discrimination, especially if the employee did not ask for reduced work hours. Here are some common examples of pregnancy discrimination in the workplace:
- Differential treatment of pregnant employees
- Compensating pregnant women less than other employees
- Failure to hire, train, or promote pregnant employees or employees likely to become pregnant
- Increased scrutiny or higher performance standards compared to other employees
- Harassment of pregnant employees, including jokes, verbal or physical abuse, or other means intended to make the employee uncomfortable
- Demoting a pregnant employee or changing their job responsibilities
- Terminating a pregnant employee or forcing them to resign
It is important to remember that some of these actions, such as terminating an employee or withholding a promotion, may be related to the performance of the employee rather than the pregnancy, which would not be discrimination. Pregnancy discrimination occurs when these decisions are made based solely on the fact that the employee is pregnant and not on the performance of the employee.
What Rights Does a Pregnant Employee Have?
A pregnant employee has certain rights under state and federal law. In fact, the Civil Rights Act of 1964: Title VII includes an amendment called the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) to prohibit discrimination against pregnant employees. It is important to note that this act defines pregnancy as the actual pregnancy as well as childbirth and pregnancy-related conditions, including miscarriages. This act, along with others, ensures a pregnant employee has the same rights as other workers. Additionally, a pregnant employee has the right to reasonable accommodations based on the pregnancy. A few examples of reasonable accommodations include allowing the employee time off for appointments with their doctor and allowing for additional water breaks, rests, and bathroom breaks. It is also essential that employers allow for accommodations based on the medical advice of the pregnant employee’s doctor. While many women continue to perform their job routinely throughout pregnancy, other women may require accommodations based on medical advice, such as staying off their feet or not lifting objects over a certain weight limit. An employer is required to offer accommodations based on medical restrictions.
Is Refusing Maternity Leave a Form of Discrimination?
In some cases, refusing maternity leave is a form of discrimination. The general guidelines outlined in the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)is that employers must offer 12 weeks of medical leave for pregnant employees who have worked for the company for a year. Aside from providing time off, the Family Medical Leave Act also states that an employee may not be terminated during that time away from the job. If an employer is refusing maternity leave or you come back from leave to find you have been terminated during that time, speaking with a pregnancy discrimination lawyer may be a smart move.
It is also worth noting that an employer may not force a pregnant woman to take maternity leave if she is still able to perform the functions of her job. If a woman is able to fulfill her job responsibilities, she could work until it is time to give birth, and an employer may not force her to start maternity leave early. This would be a form of pregnancy discrimination since it would fall under treating her differently than other non-pregnant employees.
What Does a Pregnancy Discrimination Lawyer Do?
A pregnancy discrimination lawyer will answer any questions the client has about whether or not they have been discriminated against in a legal sense, how to move forward with a case, possible outcomes, and any other questions or concerns. The pregnancy discrimination lawyer will also seek evidence and documentation to show that the incident was discrimination, as well as look into other possible similar incidents within the company. If a pattern of discrimination can be established, it usually goes a long way in confirming the incidents of the client were pregnancy discrimination. Serving as the legal representative of the client, the lawyer will speak for them in a court of law if the case goes before a judge. Whether the desired outcome is a settlement, reinstatement of a job, or both at the same time, the pregnancy discrimination lawyer will serve the client in all legal matters pertaining to the claim from start to finish.
Legal Guidance When You Need It Most
Pregnancy can be an exciting time in life, but it can also be challenging. While navigating this experience, workplace discrimination is a challenge no one should have to face. If you are dealing with pregnancy discrimination, contact us today at 317-982-7396 to find out how we may be able to help.