Raising a family — or preparing to have a child — can be stressful enough. The last thing anyone wants to deal with is being treated unfairly by their employers for their choice to have children.

According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, pregnancy discrimination is when an employee is treated unfavorably due to pregnancy, childbirth or medical conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth. For our Florida readers it is important to keep in mind that not only is pregnancy discrimination unfair, it is also illegal. Luckily, employees do have rights and do not have to put up with this type of discrimination.

 

In the most basic of terms, a woman cannot be excluded or treated unfavorably when it comes to employment decisions, such as hiring, firing, promotions or training, based on the fact that she is pregnant or has children. More simply put, a woman with a family — or who is pregnant — should have the same opportunities as other employees who are childless and not expecting. 

Under the topic of pregnancy discrimination, it is also important to recognize pregnancy harassment. Again, harassing someone because of their pregnancy is illegal and an employee who feels she is the victim of this type of behavior does have legal rights. This is true whether the harasser is a supervisor or co-worker, or even client or customer.

The bottom line is that no one should have to put up with pregnancy discrimination or harassment. An attorney who focuses on employment law may be an invaluable resource when it comes to informing employees of their rights.