Visitor Question

Discrimination based on pregnancy?

Submitted By: Anonymous (USA)

I was denied a promotion after I got pregnant. Prior to my pregnancy I was offered other promotions, but I did not take them because I didn’t want to relocate. Of course excuses are made from corporate to make it seem there were other reasons. The promotion was offered a month later to someone who was just hired and had no prior experience.

I have been with company for 3 years, and have been a manager for 2 of those years. Not only did I not get a promotion, I was also denied a raise. How do I prove this is employment discrimination based on pregnancy? Is there anything I can do about this? Thank you for any information you can give.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.


Dear Anonymous,

To succeed in a pregnancy discrimination claim, you must be able to prove you were treated differently from other employees under similar circumstances in a similar work environment, and that treatment was based on your pregnancy.

When attempting to prove discrimination based on pregnancy, you have the legal “burden of proof” to show it is more likely than not that your were discriminated against. To illustrate this, think of a scale. On one side there is 49 pounds and on the other side 51 pounds. While both sides are very close in weight, the side holding 51 pounds is the “winning side.”

It’s the same way with discrimination. You must be able to have at least 51% of

proof, meaning it is more likely than not discrimination occurred. This is known as proof by a “preponderance of the evidence.”

If you can show your employer demoted you and/or failed to give you a promotion based on your “poor performance,” yet other employees with similar poor performance were promoted, or given raises, then this can be used to show discrimination.

In your case, the

promotion was offered a month later to someone who was just hired and had no prior experience. This appears to be evidence of discrimination based on your pregnancy.

You can file a claim of discrimination with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) at this page on

Learn more here: Employment Discrimination Lawsuits

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck!


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