While there have been big changes in industries across the country designed to make women, including mothers, feel more welcome in the workplace, these changes have not alleviated the fact that pregnancy discrimination in the workplace is real. For housekeeping and janitorial workers, there is no exception. In fact, data shows that pregnant mothers who work in physically demanding jobs are often victims of blatant discrimination, and these women are often terminated or reprimanded if they ask for breaks or accommodations.
At the law office of McOmber McOmber & Luber, P.C., our pregnancy discrimination lawyers can help. If you are in the housekeeping or janitorial field and have experienced pregnancy discrimination, contact our Red Bank, Marlton, Newark, New York, or Philadelphia office today for trusted legal counsel.
What is Pregnancy Discrimination?
Pregnancy discrimination may take many different forms, but, essentially, it means treating an employee differently based on her pregnancy status. Pregnancy discrimination might include:
- Refusing to hire someone who is pregnant;
- Firing or demoting someone who is pregnant;
- Demoting or assigning new tasks (of lesser pay or significance) to a person when she returns from pregnancy leave;
- Reprimanding or punishing an employee for making pregnancy-related requests, such as to carry water or to not lift certain things; and
- Failing to make reasonable pregnancy accommodations that would be granted to another employee with a temporary disability.
Another form of discrimination may be harassment based on pregnancy. Harassment is illegal when it creates a hostile work environment.
Can an Employer Force a Pregnant Employee to Take Leave?
Especially in hands-on industries such as housekeeping and janitorial services, an employer may try to force an employee to take leave, usually unpaid, as a result of her pregnancy status. Under the law, an employer may not force an employee to take leave because she is pregnant unless the pregnant person is unable to perform the job. The same is true for changing an employee’s hours or modifying work duties. You have the right to continue performing your same job throughout the duration of your pregnancy unless you request otherwise, in which case your employer has a legal obligation to treat the request as a request made by a temporarily disabled worker. This means that reasonable accommodation is required under the law.
What to do if You Experience Pregnancy Discrimination
If you believe that your rights have been violated and you have suffered discrimination, you maintain the right to bring forth a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which will conduct an investigation to determine whether or not discrimination has occurred. If the EEOC issues a finding in your favor, you will be entitled to remedy. Note that it is illegal for your employer to retaliate against you for filing a claim.
Call Our Pregnancy Discrimination Lawyers Today
If you work as a housekeeper or janitor and have questions about your legal rights and options when pregnant, our team can help. To learn more about what to do if you are facing pregnancy discrimination, contact our Red Bank, Marlton, Newark, New York, or Philadelphia office today. We offer free consultations and are happy to speak with you at your convenience.