The Pregnancy Discrimination Act was signed 40 years ago, in 1978. However, in 2018, women across the United States continue to be fearful about announcing their pregnancy or going on maternity leave for fear of retaliation.
Statistics show that while pregnancy discrimination is still a very big issue, it may be something that women are now more eager to take a stand for. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) reported that workplace pregnancy discrimination claims rose 46 percent between 1997 and 2011. This could suggest that the increase of women in the workplace has led to more pregnant women in the workplace, or that women are more aware of their rights to be free of discrimination.
What can I do if I was fired after announcing my pregnancy?
After being fired, the first thing that you should do is take the time to reflect on the situation. Did other people get fired on the same day as you or were you singled out? Did your employer give you a valid reason for your firing? If he or she did, was the reason justifiable? For example, often pregnant women are fired under the premise of “poor performance”, when, in fact, there is evidence to suggest that they were performing better than many of their peers.
If you have a good reason to believe that your pregnancy was the reason that you were fired, it is important that you do not waste time in taking action. By being proactive on the matter, you will be taking a stand for yourself as well as many other women.