The Pregnancy Discrimination Act was passed in 1978, but it hasn’t stopped pregnant women from continuing to face workplace discrimination, as well as those who are pumping for or nursing a newborn.
A study by professors at Southwestern University and Ohio State University found that pregnant employees were more likely to be singled out for tardiness and poor performance. The study analyze 70 cases of pregnancy-based firing, and found that 40 percent of gender-related complaints involved a pregnant woman, and in 30 percent of those cases, poor performance was cited as the reason for termination.
Researchers found that some employers seem to think pregnant employees may be more distracted than others. They also found that modern discrimination is more subtle, coming mostly in the form of stricter standards for pregnant employees in areas that do not directly reflect job performance, such as being slower or running late.
The Equal Opportunity Employment Commission states that an employer can’t refuse to hire a woman because of her pregnancy, pregnancy-related conditions, or because of reaction from co-workers, clients, or customers. If an employee is unable to perform tasks because of her pregnancy, she is to be treated as any other temporarily disabled employee.
If you have been the target of workplace harassment, discrimination or unfair termination, Bouchillon, Crossan & Colburn, L.C. represents clients in federal court and before the EEOC, MSPB and in state and union grievance hearings. Call Bouchillon, Crossan & Colburn, L.C. at 304.523.8451 or contact us online to schedule an appointment.