Last year, something amazing happened in New York. The New York Council decided to stand up for the rights of pregnant women in New York by passing the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act. A law that represents pregnant women as part of the two-thirds workforce in the state who are also mostly the primary breadwinners.
And that’s not all.
Last April, Weight Watchers agreed to pay a woman from Detroit $45,000 in a pregnancy discrimination suit because the company opted not to hire her because she was pregnant, regardless of her top notch qualifications. She deserved that money because her pregnancy was not the sum of her worth as an employee. Just like her, you can stand up for your rights if you are pregnant and feeling burdened or harassed by your employer or co-workers.
No One Can Force You to Resign Just Because You Are Pregnant
In a nutshell, pregnancy is never a good reason to get fired or even be given a hard time at work. This means you should not be harassed, pressured, ridiculed, or be embarrassed by your boss or anyone else because of your pregnancy. Did you know that a study published in 2009 by the IJOG: International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology found that any stress you suffer over and beyond what you are accustomed to can affect the fetal brain development of your unborn child, especially during the first trimester? It puts you in the awkward position of having to choose between the health of your unborn child and work.
It’s An Impossible Choice: Work Versus Pregnancy
No one should force you into this corner, which is why there is a law against pregnancy discrimination. If small accommodations to your work conditions are not allowed, such as an extra five minute break for the bathroom or drinking water, less time standing up, or dealing with nausea from certain ordinary smells and odors, then you are being discriminated against. You have the right to complain.
While the national and local government as well as people in media are doing an admirable job of expanding the information campaign against pregnancy discrimination, not every employer is well informed. However, this cannot be used as an excuse for breaking the law. The bottom line is that you have the ability to fight for your rights and the rights of your unborn child.
What to do if You’re a Victim of Pregnancy Discrimination
If anyone at work makes a pregnancy related comment that makes you feel uncomfortable or threatened, such as, “You don’t want to lose your baby, do you?” or “Your stomach will get in the way of performing your job,” then you are being discriminated against based on your pregnancy, and it’s time to get help from a professional. The Law Offices of John J. Zidziunas & Associates has an experienced team of New York and New Jersey whistleblower lawyers who know and understand your rights. For further information, please feel free to call us at **973-509-8500**, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit our webpage at employmentdiscrimination.com.