Discrimination comes in various forms. There’s age discrimination, racial discrimination, sex discrimination, and much more. They’re all equally awful and nobody should have to endure it. Yet there’s one form of discrimination that appears to be occurring more and more- pregnancy discrimination.
In New Brunswick, Canada, the province’s Human Rights Commission has released new guidelines to address pregnancy discrimination. These guidelines help to define what exactly pregnancy discrimination is. That way, employers and employees alike will understand what kind of actions the commission considers to be illegal.
“Discrimination against pregnant women and women of childbearing age manifests in subtle ways and works to marginalize and disempower these women, preventing them from following their career paths and achieving their full professional potential,” commission chair Nathalie Chiasson explained in a statement.
According to Chiasson, the New Brunswick Human Rights Commission received 48 complaints of pregnancy discrimination between 2012 to 2017. The numbers dropped year after year, but they’re still there. Worse, Chiasson believes that there are more cases out there, yet women are too scared to report them because they’re unaware of their rights with regard to pregnancy discrimination. But with these guidelines, employers will face consequences should they discriminate against one of their employees on the grounds of pregnancy.
“Employers … and service providers are not aware of their obligations to accommodate these circumstances. If [employees are] losing their jobs, losing shifts … if they’re losing their housing … all these damages that are sustained by the complainant would have to be paid by the … employer or service provider,” Chiasson added.
Chiasson went on to explain that any women in the province of New Brunswick who believe that they’re the victim of pregnancy discrimination in their workplace should contact the Human Rights Commission. That way, they’ll learn what to do next and how to handle the situation correctly. Hopefully, these brand new guidelines on this subject will help more pregnant women feel better and safer in the workplace. After all, no one should be bullied or discriminated against while working hard and creating a new life.