Pregnancy Discrimination: Is Your Organization Prepared?

June 28, 2018 Jen Farthing


Recent headlines and chronicles of widespread discrimination against pregnant women in the workforce bring to light stories of inequitable treatment during pregnancy that is rarely talked about but all too common.

Like me, you may have read the recent New York Times article that showcased this troubling statistic: A woman’s hourly wages decreases by 4% for each child, while a man’s earnings actually increase by 6% when they become fathers.

Pregnancy discrimination clearly exists, it is not new, and it can happen anywhere. In the United States, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) received 3,174 pregnancy discrimination complaints in 2017. Between 2015 and 2017, 28,901 charges of pregnancy discrimination were filed with the EEOC. Imagine the number of instances that go unreported.


According to the EEOC, pregnancy discrimination is “… [the treatment] of a woman (an applicant or employee) unfavorably because of pregnancy, childbirth, or a medical condition related to pregnancy or childbirth.”

The term “unfavorable treatment’” can be a gray area. Are you certain that you could easily spot pregnancy discrimination if it occurred at your workplace?

Watch the 88-second clip below and test yourself.


In the video, Geena learns that she was at risk of being passed over for a promotion and stripped of career opportunities, both due to the fact that she is pregnant.

Regardless of whether an individual is discriminated against due to pregnancy, ethnicity, gender, or otherwise, the pressure on regulators and employers to be proactive instead of reactive is growing. How can you ensure your organization doesn’t end up in the headlines from a discriminatory situation?

Learn more about our educational offerings and contact us to learn about our suite of customizable educational resources and tools to help companies take on discrimination and a myriad of other workplace challenges.


About the Author

Jen Farthing

Chief Learning Officer at LRN

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