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Employers might discriminate against new mothers

Even when they don't mean to, employers might discriminate against new mothers and women who are pregnant. This can result in demotions and firings that are supposedly based on sub-par work, but which actually stem from motherhood itself.

One woman told her story, noting that she'd been replaced by a male worker while she was pregnant. When she came back, the company told her that he'd actually earned the job by being a better fit, and they wanted to demote her. She said they were nice about it and didn't cut her pay, but they really thought he would do a better job.

Leading sociologists have said that this could happen because mothers face more criticism than other workers -- either men or other women who don't have kids. One sociologist claimed that:

-- Evaluations of mothers in the workforce were biased.

-- Mothers' competence in their positions was questioned.

-- Their dedication to the job and commitment to the company was also questioned.

Essentially, she said that women with children and individuals without kids could do the same job, with the same results and the same quality of work, and those evaluating that job would then perceive it as work that was less well done. There was no basis for this other than the fact that they inherently felt that someone who was a mother couldn't do a good job, even when the results showed the opposite.

Have you been discriminated against at work after having kids, even though you're still doing an excellent job? If so, you may want to look into your legal rights.

Source: The Atlantic, "When Bosses Discriminate Against Pregnant Women," Darlena Cunha, accessed March 24, 2017

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