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New study shows how pregnant job applicants can combat discriminatory attitudes

A new study provides further evidence that employers discriminate against pregnant women when they apply for a job but the study also offers pregnant job seekers helpful tips for getting around the discriminatory biases of employers. The researchers who conducted the study found that pregnant job applicants experienced more hostility (such as rude behavior or prematurely ending of interviews) from employers than non-pregnant job applicants. However, the researchers also found that when pregnant job applicants said things during interviews that addressed some of the more stereotypical concerns about pregnant employees, such as their level of commitment to the job, they were able to reduce the frequency of employers’ discriminatory behavior.

“This study takes the research of discrimination against pregnant women a step further,” said lead author Whitney Botsford Morgan, assistant professor of management at the University of Houston. “We know that this type of discrimination exists. This research helps us understand what can be done to reduce it. Statements that refute stereotypes about being inflexible and lacking commitment are particularly effective.”

It is against state and federal law for employers to discriminate against an employee or job applicant because she is pregnant. Despite these laws, as this study shows, discrimination against pregnant women is common. If you believe an employer has discriminated against you because you are pregnant, you should contact an experienced employment lawyer to learn more about your rights.