Getting pregnant and expecting a new baby is one of the most beautiful and exciting moments in a woman’s life. However, many women wonder whether being pregnant puts them at a disadvantage when it comes to employment opportunities. Even though it is illegal, many employers refuse to offer jobs to pregnant women or discriminate against existing pregnant employees.
If you were denied a job for the sole reason you are pregnant, you might be able to take legal action against the employer. Not only cannot an employer refuse to hire you, but they also cannot fire, demote or withhold a position from a pregnant working woman. If you face discrimination, speak to an employment discrimination lawyer Austin today.
What does the law say?
According to the Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which covers pregnancy discrimination, no employer is allowed to discriminate against pregnant women and treat them unfairly or differently from other employees or job applicants for the sole reason they are pregnant.
Other relevant laws protecting pregnant women are the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 and the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993.
These laws cover pregnancy and other conditions related to pregnancy. They include:
- Severe morning sickness
- Doctor-ordered bed rest
- Recovery from childbirth
The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 covers the following:
- Taking care of a new baby
- Taking care of an ill baby, spouse, or parent
How do I know if I was discriminated against?
It is illegal for an employer to refuse to hire a pregnant woman who is qualified for the job she was being interviewed for. If an employer asks you questions about your pregnancy that are irrelevant to the work you have applied for, it could be a sign that they are discriminating. For example, your employer asks you whether you plan on having more children or when you want to start your maternity leave.
If I was discriminated against, what kind of compensation may I receive?
If you can prove that your employer has discriminated against you, you can receive several types of compensation. The key is to restore the person discriminated against to the position where they would have been if they were not treated unlawfully. If you suspect you were denied a job for illegal reasons, you could be entitled to the following benefits:
- Back pay
- Future pay
- The value of lost employment benefits