Workplace discrimination and pregnancy at Walmart

People from all walks of life need to find gainful employment in California. California and federal employment laws ensure that people do not face discrimination based on a variety of factors as they look for work. Workplace discrimination includes discrimination in hiring, firing and promoting an individual based on different factors. These protected categories include a person’s race, religion, sexual orientation, age, gender and national origin.

A person’s disability can also not be used against the person at work. In fact, employment laws even require that employers make reasonable accommodations for an employee’s disability. However, what qualifies as a disability is not always black and white, especially when it comes to a woman’s pregnancy. Therefore, pregnant women are not always as protected while at work as others.

Recently, one of the United States’ biggest employers — Walmart — has changed its policies regarding pregnant women. Prior to the change, the company did not require stores to make accommodations for pregnant employees. In fact, some employees reported that they were still required to do their jobs even with a doctor’s note explaining that it was harmful.

Under the new policy, Walmart says that it may make reasonable accommodations for pregnant employees that have a disability caused by the pregnancy. Many employee rights advocates claim that this policy creates too much confusion about whether or not something is a disability related to the pregnancy or not.

California workers that have been discriminated against work should know that they have options. These workers could be entitled to compensation as a result of the discrimination. A lawsuit could help to ensure that they are treated fairly no matter their race, gender or disability.

Source: The Washington Post, “Under pressure, Wal-Mart upgrades its policy for helping pregnant workers,” Lydia Depillis, April 5, 2014

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