Expecting a new child to join your family should be something worth celebrating, but it might feel like you are receiving punishment for it if your employer suddenly denies you a promotion. If it seems as if you are an obvious and capable candidate for the position, then this rejection could be an example of discrimination.
Some employers might feel justified in denying a pregnant woman a position of responsibility on the basis that she will likely take maternity leave when the baby is due. However, this is still a highly questionable course of action that you can fight against by understanding your rights as an employee.
Can your employer deny your promotion because you are pregnant?
Pregnancy discrimination is a crime that defies federal laws enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Americans with Disabilities Act both protect against pregnancy discrimination as well as pregnancy-related disability discrimination. This includes discriminative behaviors such as blocking pregnant women from promotions and higher pay opportunities.
What can you do if you are a victim of pregnancy discrimination?
If you are a victim of workplace discrimination, you can file a charge with EEOC. To strengthen your case, keep records of conversations with your employer and collect testimony from coworkers. If possible, have a third party present during discussions regarding promotions so that you have a witness to verify your claims of discrimination.
Discrimination is often a subtle behavior that is not immediately apparent. Even so, it is important to take quick and decisive action as soon as you feel that you are the target of discriminatory behavior in the workplace.