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Pregnant women still face ongoing workplace discrimination

Having a child is often one of the greatest joys for Wisconsin parents. However, many working women struggle with telling their employer or potential future employer that they are expecting. Workplace discrimination against pregnant women is a real and ongoing issue with which many women struggle, and it may impact their ability to find and maintain gainful employment.

It is up to women whether they would like to disclose during an interview that they are pregnant. However, the decision is not always clear-cut. Pregnant women often fear that they will be discriminated against if they reveal that they are pregnant, even though federal law forbids employers from basing hiring decisions on pregnancy. There is also the concern that future employers might think they have a lack of transparency if a woman does not reveal that she is pregnant until after she is hired.

If already employed, women face additional concerns if they become pregnant. Should a woman need to take time off of work for pregnancy-related complications, she might be able to use accrued vacation and sick time as per the terms of her employment. As long as the requested time off falls in line with company a policy, an employer should not be able to deny the request.

Despite being a formidable part of the workforce, many women continue to face pregnancy-related workplace discrimination. This discrimination can take many forms, and may include refusing to make reasonable accommodations, not hiring based on pregnancy and even firing. Pregnant Wisconsin women who have been wrongly discriminated against can take just legal action against their employer by pursuing a carefully constructed discrimination suit, which can typically achieve compensation for related financial damages.

Source: romper.com, "What Counts As Workplace Discrimination When You're Pregnant? An Expert Explains", Elizabeth Helen Spencer, Nov. 17, 2017

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