Pregnancy discrimination is a very real problem in many workplaces, and it can often arise when promotions are on the table. Certain individuals in leadership positions might try to justify their decision of passing up a pregnant woman for promotion on the basis that she is likely to leave her position vacant for maternity leave when the baby is due.
Regardless of any explanation, the decision to refuse a qualified candidate a promotion they deserve on the basis of pregnancy is a blatant example of discrimination. You can take appropriate action by understanding when promotion denial falls under the definition of discrimination and your options afterward.
When is a promotion refusal an example of pregnancy discrimination?
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discriminatory acts against pregnant or potentially pregnant workers in any aspect of employment, including hiring, termination and promotion. Unfair or wrongful treatment toward an employee is likely to be discriminatory in nature. It may be increasingly apparent that a promotion refusal is an example of pregnancy discrimination if the person in power holds a personal bias against the candidate or any specific group of people.
It is important to gather any proof you may have, including records of conversations held in person, to best protect any case you may have. If you are unsure whether your case involves discrimination, an attorney can look at these records and give you their legal opinion.
What should you do if you are a victim of discrimination?
You have the right to file a charge of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission if you believe you are a victim of workplace discrimination. Involving a legal team early in the process can help ensure that you build a strong case.
While being pregnant is a temporary circumstance, being a victim of discrimination is not something that is likely to cease without decisive action. Taking appropriate steps after experiencing discriminatory behavior can help you secure the workplace recognition you deserve.