When most people hear the word “discrimination” in Texas, they think of the more common types of discrimination based on race, sex or age. However, there is another type of discrimination that is just as serious but often goes unnoticed: pregnancy discrimination, which includes discrimination against women who have had miscarriages.
How does this form of discrimination happen?
One of the most common ways that discrimination takes place is when a woman is fired from her job after she has a miscarriage. An employer might do this because they think the woman is not capable of doing her job because she is “too emotional” or “distracted.” This is not only unfair to the woman, but it is also illegal.
Secondly, a woman might be passed over for a job or promotion because she is pregnant or has had a miscarriage. This can happen whether the woman is currently pregnant or not.
Finally, employers might refuse to give women reasonable accommodations after they have had a miscarriage. For example, an employer might deny a woman’s request for time off to recover from her condition.
What does the law say?
Pregnancy discrimination is illegal under both state and federal law. Under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, it is illegal to discriminate against a woman because of her pregnancy, childbirth, miscarriage or related medical conditions. This includes firing, refusing to hire, demoting, harassing or engaging in any other type of discrimination.
How should you address this form of discrimination?
If you have been the victim of pregnancy discrimination, it is important to speak up and take action. You can do this by filing a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The EEOC is responsible for enforcing employment law in the context of pregnancy discrimination.
You can also file a private lawsuit against your employer. This involves filing a complaint with the court and asking for damages. Both of these options may help protect your rights.
It is important to act quickly if you think you have been the victim of pregnancy discrimination. There are time limits for filing a complaint with the EEOC and for filing a private lawsuit. The time limit in Texas is 180 days from the date of the discrimination.