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Pregnancy discrimination can cause negative health effects

On Behalf of | Jul 22, 2020 | Employment Law

Expecting a child is often a joyous time for Michigan residents. An expectant mother may have been pleasantly surprised by the news or may have waited, hoped and struggled before becoming pregnant. In either case, most parents-to-be want their news to be received with well wishes, but some employees may end up facing pregnancy discrimination.

Though the Pregnancy Discrimination Act works to prevent unfair treatment of pregnant job applicants or employees, it does not stop every instance of discrimination toward expectant workers. In fact, reports indicate that over 50,000 pregnancy discrimination claims were filed in the last decade. Certainly, discrimination can have negative effects on a person’s work life, but recent studies also show that it can adversely affect the health of expectant mothers and babies.

The study involved 252 pregnant employees and looked at various areas that could be affected by discrimination. Stress, postpartum depression and demographics were considered for the mothers, and birth weight, Apgar score and gestational age were considered for the babies. The study found that pregnancy discrimination was linked to increase postpartum depressive symptoms and lower gestational ages, lower birth weights and more visits to the doctor for the babies.

If a mother-to-be believes that she is facing pregnancy discrimination, it can certainly be a difficult experience. After all, while preparing for a new child, many mothers in Michigan and across the country often need to continue working in order to be more financially secure for their child’s needs. As a result, many workers may feel trapped in a difficult situation. However, if workers do believe that they are facing illegal treatment on the job, they may want to remember that they have rights and legal options to consider for handling this ordeal.