This week’s the 40th anniversary of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act – the 1978 federal law designed and enacted to protect women who become pregnant while working, from being fired while pregnant and working.
If you’re going to have your Rosa Parks moment, make it count. Make sure you document, document, document the complaint, and all follow up to the boss, to the HR department. Whatever happens, put it in writing. Hold their feet to the fire. Stand up for yourself. The Rosa Parks moment, Circa 2018 in the workplace.
Every case has a statute of limitations – the date by which it must be filed, or the chances are lost forever. In discrimination cases, sexual harassment, pregnancy discrimination, retaliation, any kind of employment law case, a charge of discrimination must be filed with the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission before you’re allowed to file in court, and that charge of discrimination must be filed, within either 180 days of the last discriminatory act or 300 days of the last discriminatory act, depending on the state where you work. So for instance, in New York, that federal filing date with EEOC is 300 days from, if you were fired, that is likely the last discriminatory act.
Here’s one thing all pregnant working women in the United States now have in every State in the Union, and that’s the right not to be treated differently, not to experience hostility, backlash, a diminution, a degradation to the terms or the conditions or the privileges of your employment because of your pregnancy, because of your childbirth, or because of a related medical condition.
If you’re struggling with work-related, pregnancy related challenges while you’re working, just understand that it is illegal even if your employer doesn’t know it. And don’t give up, don’t despair.