Pregnancy should be one of the most exciting and happy times in your life. However, working mothers do not always get to experience this joy. Many times, mothers in the workforce are filled with anxiety and fear that they will lose their jobs for having a baby.
According to a report in the New York Times, women lose almost 5 percent of their earnings after having a child. Men, on the other hand, receive over 5 percent more in wages after becoming fathers.
Unfortunately, pregnancy discrimination can be hard to detect and even harder to prove. While the most obvious sign of pregnancy discrimination is termination, it is important to look out for other forms, including:
Criticism: Is your boss being meaner to you than before? Has your boss made critical comments about pregnant women in the past? If you feel like your employer is being more critical than before, you might be the victim of discrimination. Make sure to document any comments your boss or other employees make. These comments could be useful evidence of discrimination in a future lawsuit.
Denial of promotions or raises: If you are no longer hearing about promotions or raises, it might be a sign they are being given to other employees. While it can be hard to know who is getting the promotions and raises, it is important to keep a record of all the positions you apply for and discussions you have about potential raises. Laws are in place that prohibit employers from denying promotions and raises for pregnancy-related reasons.
Decrease in emails or meeting requests: While it might not be that noticeable at first, try to keep track of how many meetings request and emails you normally receive each day. If you feel like this number is decreasing once you announce your pregnancy, it might be because your employer is trying to phase you out.
Experiencing pregnancy discrimination can be devastating and can take a physical toll on your pregnancy. If you notice your company beginning to discriminate against you, speak to an experienced employment law attorney immediately. Attorneys will help you fight for your rights, so you can focus on what matters most— your baby.