INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – If you are working and pregnant, what are your rights in Indiana?
I-Team 8 asked for employee policies of some of Indiana’s larger companies, which was easier said than done.
I-Team 8 questioned Lilly, Wellpoint now known as Anthem, Amazon and Fed-Ex. Two responded: Lilly doesn’t turn over their employee policies and Fed-Ex issued a statement:
“At FedEx, the safety and well-being of our employees is our top priority. We have policies in place designed to accommodate team members who are temporarily disabled due to pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions.”
In 2013 there were over 5,300 pregnancy discrimination complaints filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. There is the federal law, Pregnancy Discrimination Act, enacted in 1978 but some states have taken extra action with their own laws. Indiana is not one of them. However, there are breastfeeding rights in Indiana in providing a room other than a toilet stall if available.
How prevalent is it? The first Indianapolis employment attorney I-Team 8 called, John Haskin, has two pregnancy discrimination cases in Indianapolis pending now. A third case out of Fort Wayne went to the court of appeals earlier this year. Jennifer Hitchcock of Fort Wayne sued Angel Corps saying she was discriminated against after Angel Corps learned that she was pregnant, including being over-scrutinized by her supervisor and having her job responsibilities increased. Angel Corps denied the allegations. The court opinion says Angel Corps changed its reasoning for the firing four different times. The case settled out of court.
What can women do if they think they are discriminated against because they are pregnant? Attorneys say, keep good notes and document everything. Talk to the union and check the employee manual. Anyone who files with EEOC shouldn’t wait. In most cases complaints must be filed within 180 days.