Is a denial of medical leave a sign of pregnancy discrimination?

On Behalf of | Dec 2, 2022 | Employment Law

If you are about to welcome a new baby into your family, you undoubtedly could not be happier. Your employer, though, sees your pregnancy through a different lens. To your manager, your pregnancy means staffing issues, lost productivity and higher costs.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, you might have a right to take medical leave for doctor’s appointments, pregnancy-related illnesses and baby bonding. If your employer denies your requests for medical leave, you may be a victim of pregnancy discrimination.

Pregnancy discrimination

Pregnancy discrimination happens when an employer illegally uses an employee’s pregnancy to discriminate against her. Both federal and state laws prohibit pregnancy discrimination in certain situations.

This type of discrimination can occur in a number of ways, including the following:

  • Terminating your employment
  • Refusing to promote you or give you a raise
  • Changing your job duties or work schedule
  • Not giving you accommodations during your pregnancy
  • Denying medical leave

Your legal rights

If your employer makes you a victim of pregnancy discrimination by denying your request for medical leave, you have the right to take legal action. This may include filing a discrimination complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. You also probably have some other options.

It is important to understand that your employer cannot retaliate against you for exercising your legal rights as a victim of pregnancy discrimination. If that happens, you may have additional damages under the law.

Ultimately, rather than standing by while your employer discriminates against you, you might have to put up a bit of a fight to protect yourself and your career.