Pregnancy discrimination can happen at any point in the employment process, from hiring to firing. The laws against pregnancy discrimination are in place to help prevent employers from treating pregnant women differently from other employees.
Unfortunately, despite the systems in place to help protect women from discrimination, employers sometimes still use their position of power against their female employees. Employers who use their position to discriminate against women based on their pregnancy should be held accountable for their actions. If you believe you’ve experienced pregnancy discrimination at work, it’s crucial that you contact an experienced workplace discrimination lawyer. At Hollis Law Firm, we have a skilled employment lawyer who has experience helping clients seek the justice they deserve.
How to Prove Workplace Pregnancy Discrimination
There are various ways to prove discrimination, depending on the facts of your case. However, regardless of the facts you rely on, the burden of proof is the same: to provide evidence demonstrating it’s more likely than not that your employer took action against you because of your pregnancy.
Direct Evidence of Discrimination
Direct evidence of discrimination means that the employer admitted to acting with discriminatory intent. For instance, if your employer said that your pregnancy or desire to get pregnant played a part in their decision for not hiring you, promoting you, or making other employment decisions, this would be direct evidence of discrimination.
They may say, “I would give you the promotion, but it requires travel, and I don’t believe you would be able to do that with a child on the way.” A comment like this would be direct evidence of discrimination. While it’s rare that an employer may be so forward about their discrimination, it’s not entirely unheard of for an employer to openly state that an employee’s pregnancy was a factor in their choices.
Circumstantial Evidence of Discrimination
Even you are unable to document direct evidence of discrimination, you may still have enough evidence to allow a judge or jury to infer discrimination. Proving discrimination based on circumstantial evidence means that the facts of your case must work together to show that it’s more likely that your employer’s decisions were motivated by discrimination than any other reason.
Often, circumstantial evidence consists of proof that the employer deviated from their usual practice or policies in such a way that didn’t make sense for the situation. If there is not a reasonable explanation, the decision can be inferred to be based on discriminatory intent.
Additionally, statistical proof or proof of how other pregnant employees have been treated may also help persuade a judge or jury. For instance, if there is documentation or testimony that demonstrates your employer didn’t follow their usual procedures as seen in their interaction with non-pregnant employees, this can be circumstantial evidence.
Suspicious timing may also be grounds to prove the decision was based on discriminatory intent. For example, if you are denied a promotion when your employer finds out you’re planning to become pregnant or after childbirth, suspicious timing might be applicable in your scenario. The employer’s decision to hire you, fire you, not promote you, or cut back your hours so close to learning about your pregnancy often comes off as suspicious to a judge or jury.
Contact Hollis Law Firm’s Experienced Workplace Discrimination Lawyer
Are you concerned about your job or career because your employer might be discriminating against you due to the fact that you are considering pregnancy, are pregnant, or just gave birth? Hollis Law Firm’s skilled and trusted workplace discrimination lawyer can help hold your employer responsible for their actions. We are here to provide you with unparalleled legal representation and help you pursue the justice you deserve.