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Standing up to discrimination as a new mother

When you become a mother for the first time, life changes immediately. It's common for new moms to gain a new perspective on the truly important things in life. They often become inspired to act as role models for their children and maintain their careers while balancing their family life. It's a lot of pressure, but good employers recognize their employees needs and help them to achieve an equitable balance of family and working life.

Unfortunately, not all employers act in this way. Many new mothers face retaliatory and discriminatory treatment after the birth of their babies, and their careers suffer as a result. It is important that new mothers understand their rights in the workplace so that they can feel empowered to take action if they receive unlawful treatment.

Discrimination in relation to maternal leave

One of the most common ways that women are discriminated against in regard to their pregnancies and childbirth is through maternal leave. All pregnant women have the right to take 12 weeks unpaid leave after giving birth to or adopting a child. This leave is job-protected, i.e., their employers cannot retaliate against them in any way because of their choices to take leave.

Unfortunately, some new mothers experience retaliation in the form of denied overtime or promotions, demotions and even firing. They may also be subject to inappropriate comments from supervisors or coworkers about their situations.

Any type of discriminatory behavior in the workplace is unacceptable. If you feel discriminated against as a new mother at work, it is important to take action and asset your rights.

Source: The Glass Hammer, "4 Types of Discrimination Mothers Face (and What to Do)," Sarah Landrum, accessed May 24, 2018

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