Despite laws meant to combat discrimination in the workplace, it still happens across the country. Discrimination can come in different forms. Some are easier to recognize than others. Some are easier to combat, too.
Pregnancy discrimination is one of the hardest forms of discrimination to detect. Many tactics used here are subtle and hard for you to detect. This makes it harder to defend yourself.
Subtle discrimination toward pregnant workers
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission looks at pregnancy discrimination at the workplace. In general terms, the goal of pregnancy discrimination is to get the target to leave the job of their own accord. This way, the employer does not have to deal with unemployment, severance packages or paying for pregnancy leave.
In most cases, the methods to achieve this goal are subtle and manipulative. For example, you may notice that you are getting fewer invites to work meetings and group gatherings. You might feel like you are being passed over for promotions promised to you. You may even feel left out of activities after work.
Potential excuses you may hear
Coworkers and employers often have excuses ready if you ask them about this. They may say they do not want to overwork you because of your pregnancy. They may claim they do not invite you to social gatherings because of the presence of alcohol. In some cases, it really is genuine but misguided intentions.
But in others, it is a malicious attempt to ice you out of company culture and slowly give your workload away to others. In this situation, you want the legal protection you deserve.