Mothers at Work: 6 Retaliation Scenarios to Watch Out For

As a pregnant woman, entering the workforce can be empowering, with many changes and challenges to face. There is one particular obstacle that one might not expect - retaliation. Here are retaliation scenarios to watch out for.

As a pregnant woman, entering the workforce can be empowering, with many changes and challenges to face. There is one particular obstacle that one might not expect – retaliation. Pregnancy retaliation is when an employer discriminates against an employee due to her pregnancy or related medical conditions. This could take the form of demotions, decreased pay, lack of advancement opportunities or termination. Here are six examples of retaliation that a pregnant woman might experience in the workplace.

Demotion

One of the most common forms of retaliation against pregnant women is a demotion. This action could be taken by a manager or supervisor who sees the pregnancy as a hindrance to the company’s productivity. He or she may also see the pregnancy negatively for personal reasons. As a result, he or she may choose to move the employee to a lower-level position with fewer responsibilities. This could be a significant blow to the employee’s career and financial stability. If you experience a demotion after informing an employer of your pregnancy or after taking a leave of absence related to the pregnancy, it may be time to type “labor lawyer Pittsburgh” into your internet browser.

Salary Reduction

Another example of retaliation is a reduction in pay. This could happen when an employer sees the pregnancy as a burden and assumes the employee will not be able to perform at her non-pregnant level. This is not only discriminatory but also illegal. Pay reduction clearly damages the employee because it results in a significant loss of income.

Ostracism

Pregnant employees may also experience retaliation in the form of exclusion from opportunities. This could be a failure to offer promotions, special projects or training opportunities that the employee would normally be eligible for. A supervisor could do this by “forgetting” to send links to online meetings or training seminars. This could limit both the employee’s career advancement and earning potential.

Hazing

A hostile work environment is another example of retaliation that a pregnant woman might face. This could be harassment from coworkers or managers who might make negative comments, cruel jokes or engage in intimidating behavior. This could create a stressful and uncomfortable work environment, making it difficult for the employee to perform the job to the best of her ability. Hazing may be done anonymously, but retain any anonymous evidence for possible use in your legal battle.

Termination

In some cases, an employer may choose to terminate the employee due to her pregnancy. This is not only illegal but also unethical and could result in significant financial hardship for the employee and her family.

An employer may choose to terminate the employee by simply changing her building entry keycard or account password so she cannot access the work. He or she may choose to terminate the employee in this way so there is no written evidence. In this case, the employee would do well to record herself attempting to login or enter the building and explain on video what is happening. This will be helpful evidence as she begins the legal process of suing the employer.

Reduced Responsibility

Another example of retaliation is reducing an employee’s responsibilities. This could be paired with a failure to provide the employee with the necessary resources or support to complete the work effectively. This combination could result in a decrease in the employee’s job satisfaction and could impact her ability to perform the job effectively.

Pregnancy discrimination is illegal and employees have the right to take legal action against their employers if they have been treated unconstitutionally. Employers have a responsibility to create a safe and supportive environment for their employees and to provide equal opportunities for all employees, regardless of pregnancy status.

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