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What can employers not do when you are pregnant?

In the U.S., there an employer cannot discriminate against you for several different reasons. This includes sex, race, religion and other statuses. They also cannot discriminate against you if you are pregnant.

According to the U.S. Employment Opportunity Commission, discrimination based on pregnancy includes any actions by an employer, colleague or supervisor where you suffer unfair treatment due to your pregnancy.

Employers cannot harass you because of your pregnancy

If an employer, supervisor or colleague creates a hostile work environment, it is not legal. This may start as jokes at your expense, about your pregnancy. Over time, the jokes may become more offensive or you may feel as though others are hostile towards you because of the pregnancy. Harassment also includes intimidation. No one can treat you differently because of your pregnancy.

Employers cannot hold pregnancy to a different standard

Employers have policies on how they treat employees with temporary disabilities. For instance, if an employee tears a rotator cuff and cannot lift heavy items, he or she may have light duty temporarily. Some employers may even offer disability leave, paid or unpaid. As an employee, if you are pregnant and can no longer lift heavy items or perform your job’s requirements, the employer has to treat you the same as anyone else. They cannot refuse to offer you the same benefits or treatment that they would to any other employee with a personal disability.

The Americans with Disabilities Act also includes some pregnancy impairments. For instance, if you have hypertension, preeclampsia or gestational diabetes, your employer must provide you with reasonable accommodations.