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Do you have to be pregnant to experience pregnancy discrimination?

On Behalf of | Oct 7, 2021 | Workplace Discrimination |

Pregnancy discrimination can take many forms. Employers may refuse to make reasonable accommodations for an expectant parent’s health. They may also cut them off from career opportunities because of a pregnancy. However, many workers may not know that pregnancy discrimination can impact their lives even if they are not pregnant.

Discriminating based on a potential future pregnancy is illegal.

Just as discrimination impacts pregnant people during the hiring process, it can also impact people who are not currently expecting a child. Making hiring or promotion decisions based on possible future pregnancies is a form of pregnancy discrimination. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) lists questions about “future child bearing plans” as a potential sign of discrimination on the employer’s part.

Unfortunately, employers may make hiring decisions based on an employee’s future family plans despite this. In fact, the Equality and Human Rights Commission reports that 36 percent of employers surveyed believe that it is fair to ask these questions as part of the hiring process.

Discrimination can impact employees with pregnant spouses.

According to the EEOC, employer-provided health insurance must cover pregnancy in a way that reflects the coverage for other conditions. As a result, employers must offer similar coverage to an employee’s pregnant spouse covered under the company insurance plan. If an employer refuses to provide coverage for a worker’s pregnant spouse, they could be guilty of pregnancy discrimination even though this discrimination is not focused on an employee.

No matter what form pregnancy discrimination takes, it can seriously impact your health, family, and career. If you believe that your employer is guilty of pregnancy discrimination, you can take legal action to right the wrong you have experienced and protect your rights.