Google has once again made headlines for allegedly questionable behavior on the part of managers toward employees. One of the latest accusations against the technology giant involves discrimination against a female worker who became pregnant. If the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) supports the accuser’s filings against Google, she may choose to pursue a lawsuit. In other situations, women who have been able to prove that their employers used their pregnancy against them have received considerable compensation since discriminatory corporate practices go against laws protecting employees’ rights.
The newest discrimination-related case pertaining to Google came to fruition in late 2019 when a former employee of the company brought a formal complaint against the corporation. Through her attorney, the employee alleged that when she announced her pregnancy, she was denied promotions and treated unfairly. Additionally, she claimed that she received unwarranted poor performance reviews after becoming pregnant to ostensibly keep her from moving up the career ladder.
Is Pregnancy a Protected Class?
Although being pregnant does not put women into a protected class, companies in New Jersey and other states with at least 15 staffers are expected to make reasonable accommodations for the duration of a worker’s pregnancy or risk violating the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. Such accommodations may include allowing pregnant employees to take more breaks, being able to sit during the workday, not having to lift heavy objects, and having access to fresh water. Management cannot ask women about their plans to become pregnant or harass a worker who becomes pregnant. Additionally, promotions cannot be withheld simply because a woman is or may be pregnant.
If a woman experiences temporary, but significant, medical problems related to her pregnancy, she might be covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) instead of or in addition to the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. For example, a pregnant worker diagnosed with gestational diabetes cannot be fired because of her transitory condition. Consequently, the ADA provides an extra cushion of protection for pregnant women who feel frustrated by their mistreatment.
What Pregnant Workers Can Do If They Are Treated Unfairly
In most companies, the worker can talk with a supervisor or human resources colleague about the unfair treatment. If circumstances do not improve or allegations are ignored, the worker may want to speak with an employment lawyer. In the meantime, the worker should keep a log of incidents, exchanges, and any written communication that may support a discrimination case.
Cherry Hill Employment Lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. Fight for Pregnant Employees Facing Unfair Treatment
If you experienced discriminatory behavior because of your pregnancy, speak with a Cherry Hill employment lawyer at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. Call us at 215-569-1999 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation today. Located in Pennsauken, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout South Jersey, including Cherry Hill, Haddonfield, Marlton, Moorestown, and Mount Laurel.