Looking for a job while pregnant can mean facing discrimination

Bringing a new life into this world often means assuming a lot more responsibility. After all, newborns require expensive equipment and clothing, along with a lot of time for care. Discovering that you will soon have a baby can inspire many women to make drastic changes in their lifestyles and future plans.

Women who were not working prior to becoming pregnant may find themselves in need of a job when they realize they are expecting. Earning extra money before the baby comes can offset of the expenses related with a newborn. Unfortunately, pregnancy can be a very difficult time in which to find a job.

Despite laws against the practice, many employers openly discriminate against women who admit to being pregnant during the hiring process. Others discriminate against existing employees who become pregnant. It may be possible for women to push back against this discrimination. Women can hold employers who refuse to hire them due to their pregnancy accountable for that decision.

Know the signs of pregnancy discrimination

Job hunting during a pregnancy is incredibly frustrating, and getting turned down for positions you are qualified to perform can be discouraging. Make sure you document everything you can about your job-seeking process. This can help if you end up being the victim of discrimination.

A common sign of discrimination is a human resources representative or manager who abruptly loses interest in you as a candidate after discovering you are pregnant. Perhaps every message you exchanged with the company about your resume was very positive. Then, you arrive at the interview and the people talking to you see that you are pregnant. All of a sudden, their interest in hiring you evaporates. They could even just refuse to interview you.

Some companies will indirectly ask female applicants about their future plans, hoping to determine if children are part of those plans. While they shouldn't ask about intentions to start a family, there are other ways for a company to look into this topic.

When it is obvious that their realization that you were pregnant or hoping to start a family impacted how they consider you as an applicant, that could be grounds for a pregnancy discrimination claim. Federal law prohibits considering pregnancy when determining whether to hire someone unless it will prevent the applicant from doing the job.

Pushing back against discrimination helps pave the way for a more just future

There are so many things you have to deal with while you're pregnant that you may feel like it isn't worth following up on discrimination during job interviews. Brushing off this kind of mistreatment would be a real mistake, as it will likely continue to occur at the company unless something drastic changes.

Dealing with financial consequences for discrimination is often the only motivation that will get a company to change its practices regarding hiring workers. Speaking up after experiencing discriminatory hiring practices not only helps you advance your career and potentially recoup losses related to that discrimination, but protects other people from experiencing the same mistreatment at the company in the future.

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