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Pregnancy discrimination in the workplace

Women's reproductive rights have become an issue that has the attention of every level of government, including local, state and federal. One of the related concerns is the discrimination that a pregnant woman may experience in the workplace, which is illegal under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as modified by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978. Pregnant workers in Texas should learn exactly what qualifies as workplace pregnancy discrimination as it can be difficult to identify and prove.

When a worker becomes pregnant, she is entitled to reasonable accommodations from her employer that would allow her to perform her job duties without harming herself or her unborn. This may entail switching to different work duties or changing shifts or working hours as to accommodate medical appointments.

However, there are certain things that employers are not allowed to do when an employee becomes pregnant. Both employers and co-workers are prohibited from engaging in any form of harassment toward a worker because of her pregnancy. Employers are not to retaliate against a worker by terminating her employment, demoting her or punishing her in any other way for getting pregnant. Also, when a worker is on maternity leave, an employer cannot for force the worker to wait for a certain amount of time before returning to work, nor can the employer terminate her while she is on leave.

Women who have been the victim of this form of discrimination in the workplace should consult with an employment law attorney. The attorney may file a complaint with the appropriate federal agency as a prelude for seeking recourse for the violation of their employee rights.

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