Carrying a child to term is a miraculous process. You may not realize that all of the changes your body goes through while you are pregnant could harm you if it were not for the life growing inside you. If you are like many expectant mothers, you may not always be happy with the changes happening in your body, but you remain in awe of the whole experience.
The problem is that not everyone has the same awe you do. In fact, some employers fear or resent it because it means you may need accommodations, time off and extended leave after the birth of your child. As such, your superiors may treat you differently simply because you carry a child.
Pregnancy discrimination is a thing
There was a time when employers forced women to leave their jobs just because of pregnancy, and it was legal. It wasn't until the women's movement really took off that people took notice of this discrimination and began lobbying for Congress to do something about it.
Back in 1978, Congress passed the Pregnancy Discrimination Act to prevent your employer from treating you differently just because you are pregnant. It may not surprise you that this type of discrimination existed back then, but it continues to be a problem for many women here in Southern California and elsewhere. The number of pregnancy discrimination claims has risen sharply. Fortunately, those who came before you created a path for you to follow to combat this issue.
How to tell if your employer is violating the act
When you disclose the fact that you are pregnant, you probably thought everyone would be happy for you. While that may be true on a personal level, your employer may still violate your rights. Your boss could deny you a promotion, refuse to provide you with an accommodation, such as limiting the amount of weight you must carry, and more. If you suffer from a pregnancy-related condition, your boss may not be sympathetic in giving you the temporary leave you need.
If you feel as though your employer is violating the act, and thus your rights, you do not have to simply sit by and take it. Instead, you can take proactive measures to protect yourself. Find out what your rights and legal options are under both federal and state law. Discuss the matter with an attorney to determine what would be the best way forward for protecting your right to work regardless of the fact that you are having a baby.