Pregnant women in North Carolina and throughout the United States frequently find themselves to be victims of workplace discrimination. Discrimination is typically defined as treating someone negatively due to innocuous factors, such as age, race, gender, sexual orientation — or, in this case, being pregnant. The law makes it clear that pregnant women are protected against discrimination in the workplace. Nevertheless, thousands of women find themselves being harassed, mistreated or fired after becoming pregnant.
A pregnant woman experiencing discrimination in the workplace may be socially ostracized, be passed over for promotions, assigned to undesirable shifts or be laid off altogether. Studies have shown that stress in the workplace can have a negative effect on the mother as well as the growing infant. Some women who experience discrimination also report having more severe levels of postpartum depression after labor.
A woman who find themselves the victims of discrimination can start by evaluating their workplace’s policies and bringing their concerns to management. They can speak with bosses if they feel like they’re being assigned unreasonable duties that put the child’s health at risk. Additionally, they can take sick days and personal days if they feel like they need a break from the workplace. In some cases, the management might be dismissive or insensitive to the employee’s needs. If that happens, she may wish to take additional steps to protect herself and her job.
If a woman loses her job or finds herself treated negatively because of workplace discrimination, she may consider hiring a lawyer. An attorney could assess the situation and evidence gathered and see if a discrimination case is viable. If so, the lawyer may help the victim present a strong case to the court and help her negotiate a fair settlement with her former employer.