The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) was passed to prohibit employers from discriminating against workers based on their pregnancy, childbirth, or other related conditions. Even though it has been over 40 years since this law was established, pregnancy discrimination is still a problem in workplaces throughout the country. But in Oklahoma, the number of pregnancy discrimination complaints filed against employers is steadily declining.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)’s 2019 Report
All pregnancy discrimination complaints arising under federal law in Oklahoma are sent to the EEOC’s office in Oklahoma City. According to this office, the number of pregnancy discrimination complaints filed in Oklahoma has steadily declined over the last five years. Only 22 pregnancy discrimination complaints were filed in fiscal year 2019, which ended on September 30th. This represents the lowest number of pregnancy discrimination complaints filed in Oklahoma since 2014.
Is Pregnancy Discrimination Still A Problem in Oklahoma?
The EEOC’s report is promising, but it’s important to note that pregnancy discrimination is still an issue in this state despite the drop in complaints. In fact, three pregnancy discrimination lawsuits have been filed over the last year against employers in Oklahoma. In all three cases, the plaintiffs allege that they were fired after informing their employers of their pregnancies. Two of these plaintiffs exercised their right to request reasonable accommodations before being fired. In one case, the plaintiff even alleges that her employer told her they were hiring someone else to replace her because she was pregnant. Based on these cases, it’s clear that pregnancy discrimination still impacts women in Oklahoma.
Furthermore, many victims of pregnancy discrimination choose not to file complaints with the EEOC. Some of these women may not even realize they have the right to file a complaint, whereas others may choose not to exercise this right out of fear of retaliation. Many victims remain silent because they believe that reporting their employer will negatively affect their career.
As a result, the number of complaints filed does not necessarily reflect the number of actual pregnancy discrimination victims in Oklahoma. So although the number of complaints are steadily declining, the number of discriminatory incidents may or may not be.
Are you a victim of pregnancy discrimination? If so, contact Armstrong & Vaught, P.L.C. at once. Let our experienced attorneys seek justice against your employer for violating your workplace rights. Call us now at 918-582-2500, toll free at (800) 722-8880, or contact us online for a free consultation with a skilled attorney.