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Pregnant employees still facing workplace discrimination

While many New York residents may believe that pregnancy in the workplace is no longer an issue for many expecting workers, pregnancy discrimination still often occurs in workplaces across the nation. In fact, some of the largest companies and corporations systematically discriminate against pregnant employees by refusing pay increases, passing them over for promotions or even terminating them.

In many cases, employers do not provide additional breaks for pregnant employees who are in physically demanding jobs. Some workers may not even be allowed to carry water or a snack with them while they work. Further, there are many studies that have found that each child a pregnant employee has results in a 4 percent decrease in her wages. For men who become fathers, on the other hand, the studies show that their income increases by 6 percent.

Pregnancy discrimination is illegal under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978. Companies that have more than 15 employees are required to follow this law, which prevents them from legally discriminating against workers based on their pregnancy status, childbirth or any other medical conditions that may be associated with pregnancy. The law also protects pregnant women who are going through the application process.

As a result of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, employers must follow certain rules to avoid engaging in pregnancy discrimination. For example, these rules include not refusing to hire an applicant due to being pregnant. Companies cannot refuse to allow a pregnant employee to work. Further, an employer cannot refuse to allow an employee to return to work after giving birth. If a pregnant worker is facing employment discrimination, an attorney may assist her with filing a complaint against the employer with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. A lawyer may also help someone seek pay and other benefits to which she may be entitled.

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