Pregnancy Bias in the US

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iVillage Member
Registered: 11-13-2008
Pregnancy Bias in the US
Wed, 02-15-2012 - 5:11pm

MSN is reporting that the number pregnancy discrimination charges have increased 10% in the past 10 years:

It’s hard to imagine we still have to tell employers this today, but here goes: Pregnancy discrimination is illegal.

While it may sound obvious to some, blatant pregnancy bias is still alive and well in the workplace. A pregnant woman who applied for a job at a Subway franchise in Phoenix was told by a manager “we can’t hire you because you’re pregnant.” Last month, she won punitive damages against the employer.

It’s just one example of the types of flagrant pregnancy discrimination that the federal government is trying to stop.

“A few employers have forgotten, or never learned, that it’s against the law to discriminate against women because of pregnancy,” David Lopez, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's general counsel, said during a public meeting before the EEOC commissioners Wednesday.

It’s unlawful, he stressed, to deprive a pregnant woman "the opportunity to sustain herself or her family based on stereotypical assumptions” that she won’t be as dedicated to her employers as a man or a woman who isn't pregnant.

The number of pregnancy discrimination charges increased about 15 percent in the last 10 years to 5,797 last year. That's down slightly from 2010's total claims of 6,119, according to the EEOC.

Have you ever experienced or seen pregnancy bias in the workplace?

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-31-2011
Sun, 09-16-2012 - 8:26am

I think it's even more difficult to find work while pregnant if you're entry level or working a basic job. Those employers already know that once baby is born, the liklihood of the new mom returning to work variable shifts at $8/hour is really low and usually have huge pools of applicants with similar qualifications, making it very easy to choose someone who will not only fill their position, but their desired demographic.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-13-2011
Sat, 09-15-2012 - 9:41pm

Pregnancy discrimination is alive and well - and its not just men who don't want to hire pregnant workers.  Often, women employers are just as bad about discrimating.  I've found women in the workplace tend to be far more resentful of pregnant co-workers.  Men often don't care one way or the other. 


iVillage Member
Registered: 06-04-2003
Tue, 02-28-2012 - 6:03pm

I was told that "I was clearly the most qualified person for the job but X was going to get the job because they thought, since I was pregnant, that I would not be able to put the hours in that they needed".

I was young and clueless. In the end, they made a mistake and gave me the promotion a few years later, X was relegated to another position.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-07-2003
Thu, 02-16-2012 - 9:00am
I don't doubt that there is pregnancy bias in the US. But, I was hired for my current job while pregnant. When I told the person who was interviewing me (now my department head), she told me that she also interviewed for a job and was hired when she was pregnant many years ago. It was a little weird to start working in the summer and then taking off three months from November to January, but everything has worked out well for me at least.