Pregnant women can face discrimination in different forms. Some failed to land a job while others lose their job and opportunities or advancement. Knowing your rights will help you recognize discrimination and respond effectively before you take your maternity leave. For this, you will need the legal guidance of an Austin Employee Discrimination Lawyer. When facing pregnancy discrimination at work, here are things you must take into consideration.
Know that Not All Terminations are Illegal
Keep in mind that while your employer cannot fire you for being pregnant, they can do so while you are pregnant. This is because employers may give other reasons for your termination such as citing performance issues or deciding to reorganize your department or the company. This means that when your employer has a legitimate business reason, you can be fired while you are pregnant.
Consider Asking for Reasonable Accommodations
Whether you tend to come in late because of morning sickness or cannot commute easily due to back pain, you may want to suggest reasonable accommodation to your employer. This includes shifting work hours or working remotely before your situation can affect your job performance.
Under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA), a covered employer is responsible for making job-related modifications for pregnant employees when they do so for other employers who are similarly limited in their ability to perform job functions. Accommodations given to pregnant workers may include modified schedules, the ability to have snacks or drinks at a workstation, frequent breaks, a modified attendance policy, leave, or light duty.
Know the Essential Functions of Your Job
By knowing the ins and outs of your job duties, you make it easier for your colleagues while you are on leave. Also, this could protect you if you are being discriminated against. And before you ask for reasonable accommodation, be clear on the essential functions of your job. During the early stage of your pregnancy, you should consider taking stock of the things you do at work and make sure your tasks are clear to you, your boss, and Human Resources. This will help you avoid being penalized for not doing your tasks, especially those that are outside of your essential job functions.
Collect Proof of Great Work Performance
You may find yourself with performance issues when you are used to being high performers. In some instances, the performance issues may be real or masking discrimination. Make sure to keep track of emails or other praises you get for your performance before and during your pregnancy. If your superior beings to set deadlines that are impossible to meet or criticizes you for things you had been praised for doing so before, take notes.