Throughout history, women and mothers have received fewer rights than men, particularly when it comes to the workplace. Although we are now in the 21st century, sadly, pregnancy and age discrimination still exists against mothers.
Shockingly, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has seen a thirty-five percent increase in the number of pregnancy discrimination charges filed in recent years. This pattern of discrimination rises from various stereotypes about pregnant women and mothers. For example, that women with families are less reliable in the workplace because they have children to take care of.
This discrimination is called “momism” and it may exist in your workplace without you knowing it.
This is why we want to share with you some information about “momism” discrimination so you can be better informed about the signs and courses of action you can take.
How do I spot “momism” discrimination?
No type of discrimination is exhibited in the exact same way. There are, however, some important signs you can watch out for. If you or another woman you work with is being singled out or purposefully being excluded because of her parental status, this may indicate a bigger issue. Further, if criticism of your work increases without cause, if you are no longer being considered for promotions or raises, or if you are purposefully being left out of educational opportunities at work, make a note of these instances. Perhaps the biggest red flag is if your employment is terminated because you have a flexible schedule due to your childcare responsibilities.
If I believe I am being discriminated against, who should I contact?
First, we encourage you to speak directly with your employer or supervisor. Keeping detailed notes about instances where you feel that you were discriminated against for being a mother is important, and you can bring up those situations during your conversation.
Make sure you express your concerns and ask for an explanation as to why you were excluded from a networking event or passed up for a promotion. If this conversation is not productive and you still feel discriminated against, consult with your company’s human resources department for further guidance. Beyond these points of contact, or if they are not available to you, we encourage you not wait to schedule a free case evaluation with our team.
You should never feel as though you are not valuable in the workplace because you are a mother. If you or anyone you know believes that you might be a victim of workplace “momism” discrimination, consider contacting our local, employment discrimination attorney immediately. You may contact us any time, day or night, to schedule a free case evaluation with a member of our legal team.