Sexual harassment in the workplace comes in a lot of different forms — including harassment and discrimination aimed directly at pregnant women and new mothers. If you’re a pregnant woman in Tennessee, you should know your rights during this special time.
The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 (PDA) specifically forbids pregnancy discrimination and discrimination against new mothers. In addition, state law allows some employees additional rights to leave for things like pregnancy-related conditions, childbirth recovery, breastfeeding and adoption. But pregnancy discrimination isn’t always obvious to spot, and you have to recognize that you’re facing harassment and discrimination in order to fight it.
So what counts as pregnancy discrimination? Consider these examples:
- Even though your pregnancy is going fine and you have no complications, your employer begins trying to force you to take leave almost as soon as your condition becomes apparent (or sooner).
- You try to return to work after your delivery and your employer brushes you off and says, “It’s too soon.”
- Your co-workers or supervisors make derogatory or obscene comments about your sex life, body, breast changes, pregnancy or nursing process.
- Your bosses make it clear that you are inconveniencing others merely because you have to take time off to go to the doctor’s office or express your milk.
- You lose a promotion because your boss is afraid you will get pregnant or believes that your status as a mother somehow makes you less dedicated or unsuitable.
- You are denied reasonable accommodations for your pregnancy, such as extra bathroom breaks or the ability to sit down with your feet up when doing paperwork.
Don’t let an employer get away with workplace harassment. You have a right to protect your interests against an employer’s overreaches through whatever legal means are available.