Most people know that it is illegal for employers to discriminate based on race, gender, religion, age, and pregnancy, among other factors. However, many people do not know exactly how discrimination presents itself in an employment setting, particularly when it comes to pregnancy discrimination, since this type of discrimination is not talked about as frequently in the media and on other platforms.
How can employers and employees recognize pregnancy discrimination in Minnesota?
Not Asking Questions or Making Assumptions in Interviews
Interviewers at a company might want to know if the person they are interviewing plans to be at the company for a longer or shorter period of time. However, the interviewer should not raise questions or assume anything regarding someone’s family planning. Asking a woman of childbearing age if she plans to become pregnant soon, or assuming that she might become pregnant soon and opt to leave the company, could be viewed as pregnancy discrimination.
Not Withholding Tasks or Training
If someone who is pregnant suddenly has fewer tasks to perform at work or fewer training opportunities with no reasonable explanation, these situations could be viewed as pregnancy discrimination. Some employers, for example, might think that paying for a pregnant person to attend an out-of-state conference or training is not worth it if they are going to take time off to take care of their newborn baby. However, this is an example of denying opportunities to a protected class of people.
It is important to be able to recognize all forms of discrimination, including those involving pregnancy, in order to avoid such discrimination in the workplace. Established more than 100 years ago, Quinlivan & Hughes ranks among the oldest and largest law practices in Central Minnesota. The full-service law firm has growing legal teams in the areas of employment law, business law, government law, insurance defense, trust and estate planning, and general litigation. Learn more at Quinlivan.com.