Pregnancy discrimination claims in the workplace are growing each day. As a result of this rising unfortunate trend, employers are facing exposure and liability. In 2018, about 2,790 pregnancy discrimination cases were filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. An employer must take necessary steps to prevent pregnancy discrimination at workplace. Let us take a closer look at pregnancy discrimination and take some preventive measures to reduce this form of discrimination.
What is Pregnancy Discrimination?
According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, pregnancy discrimination includes any action that results in treating a woman, whether a potential job applicant or an employee, unfavorably due to her pregnancy, or any other pregnancy-related medical condition associated with childbirth. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act is an amendment to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
How to Prevent Pregnancy Discrimination
The Illinois Human Rights Act has put a ban on pregnancy discrimination, childbirth and any other medical condition associated with childbirth and pregnancy. The Act covers any organization that employs more than 15 staff members. Companies are required by law to treat pregnant women like any other employee. Companies should take the following steps to prevent pregnancy discrimination in the workplace.
Instill best Practices of Equality Within the Workplace
Pregnancy discrimination can be prevented by instilling the best practices of tolerance and equality within the workplace. These best practices include training managers and other employees about the law related to pregnancy discrimination. You can speak with a proficient attorney with years of professional experience in dealing with pregnancy discrimination cases.
Prompt Management Response Against Discrimination Complaint
If you receive a complaint from your female employee about any kind of discrimination related to her pregnancy or childbirth within the workplace, management must have a policy to take swift action. Assist the discrimination employee and evaluate every aspect of the incident. A thorough investigation is essential.
Do Not Make Unnecessary Work Accommodations
Another essential step that could prevent discrimination against pregnant women is to not make any work-related accommodations the employee did not wish or did not request. If an employee makes a request, then the employer can provide minor accommodations, like allowing her a few minutes off work to breastfeed or any other requests that would make it easier for her to work during pregnancy and after childbirth.
If you want to know more about pregnancy discrimination or require legal assistance in any other employment issue, schedule a free consultation with us; contact the Law Office of Michael Smith at (847) 220-5197 to talk with an experienced employment lawyer.