According to a study conducted by Forbes, women currently make up about 50% of the American workforce. Of that number, it is also projected that nearly 85% of those employees will become mothers during the course of their career. This means that a number of employees in California will be pregnant while they’re employed and have certain rights to protect their jobs.
A report performed by the U.S. Census Bureau provides some troubling information: Female employees are working longer into their pregnancies and returning to work quicker than ever after giving birth. While employers may give different reasons for this uptick in quicker returns to work and delaying maternity leave, it’s easy to recognize that there is an issue concerning pregnancy discrimination in the United States. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act forbids any sort of workplace discrimination against a woman based on pregnancy. This includes during the hiring process and extends into areas such as pay, promotions, firings, fringe benefits and more.
While the financial ramifications of pregnancy discrimination have long been obvious, it is now also believed that this act can impact the health of both the new mother and her child. The stress that is experienced by the mother has a negative impact on her stress levels and amplifies postpartum depression symptoms, and the child’s Apgar score is negatively impacted.
A worker who believes that they have been discriminated against due to pregnancy may want to not only contact their company’s human resources department but also an attorney who is well-versed in workplace discrimination law. The attorney may review the client’s claim, including any documented instances of discrimination pertaining to the pregnancy, and other claims that have been filed against the company in question. The attorney may then better advise their client on how to pursue any financial relief that is owed to her based on her employer’s pregnancy discrimination.