It is illegal for an employer in Tennessee to discriminate against you because of your pregnancy, but this doesn’t stop it from happening. In fact, statistics show that approximately 5,300 pregnancy discrimination cases are filed each year with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and this only constitutes 2%; 98% of pregnancy discrimination goes unreported.
Understanding what it means by pregnancy discrimination
Pregnancy discrimination is any type of discrimination based on the fact that you are pregnant or might become pregnant. It usually transpires when promoting, demoting, laying off, or terminating an employee. It can also occur when an employer denies you a job or forces you to take a leave of absence because of your pregnancy.
Pregnancy discrimination is against the law and is considered a type of gender discrimination. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 prohibits your employer from discriminating against you in the workplace based on pregnancy and childbirth, as well as other related medical conditions. Your employer also owes you the same rights as any other disabled employer if you are unable to perform your regular duties because of the pregnancy. This act applies to companies with 15 or more employees, including federal, state and local governments.
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 is another federal employment law prohibiting discrimination in the workplace. Although this law does not specifically mention pregnancy, the U.S. Supreme Court has interpreted it to include pregnancy discrimination.
Steps to take
If you think you have been the victim of pregnancy discrimination, you can file a charge with the EEOC. You must do this within 180 days of the discriminatory event. You can also file a lawsuit against your employer, but you must first file a charge with the EEOC.
Whichever route you decide to take, you will need evidence such as performance reviews, emails or text messages that show you were treated differently because of your pregnancy. If possible, try to get witnesses who can attest to the discrimination.
If you are being discriminated against, you shouldn’t be afraid to take action. Tennessee law prohibits your employer from retaliating against you for filing a charge or lawsuit. You have the right to stand up for yourself and get the justice you deserve.