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Signs of pregnancy discrimination in the workplace

On Behalf of | May 12, 2023 | Employment Law |

Any form of discrimination in the workplace can negatively impact the victim, leading to poor performance and mental health issues.

Pregnancy discrimination is a form of discrimination that affects countless women each year. As a result, Massachusetts has a Pregnant Workers Fairness Act that safeguards the rights of pregnant employees. Even so, workers may struggle to identify workplace pregnancy discrimination. Here are some signs to look for:

Unfair treatment

This is when an employee is not offered the same opportunities, compensation and promotions as other employees in the same position because she is pregnant. Pregnant women have the right to equal treatment as other employees.


If a pregnant woman is suspended or fired from the workplace solely because of pregnancy or pregnancy-related issues like time off for medical appointments, this amounts to uncalled-for discrimination.

Discouraging feedback

Pregnant women may be discriminated against through unjustifiable criticism and backlash from their supervisors about their performance and threats of being fired just because they are pregnant.

Denial of maternity leave

Massachusetts law sanctions the provision of an eight weeks maternity/parental leave. Therefore, the denial of maternity leave portrays a form of pregnancy discrimination. Pregnant women should be given time off to attend medical appointments and other pregnancy-related necessities.

Denial of reasonable accommodations

Massachusetts’s law prompts employers to provide reasonable accommodations to pregnant employees, e.g., a private space to express breast milk. Failure to meet these rational needs is a form of discrimination.

Pregnancy discrimination is illegal in Massachusetts. If you are discriminated against in the workplace because of your pregnancy, you should take action and report it to your employer or human resource manager. If this does not bear fruit, seek legal help to enforce your rights.