It can be hard to be excited about welcoming a child into the world when you suddenly lose work hours or opportunities after announcing your pregnancy. In 2013, about 5,342 cases of pregnancy discrimination had been filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), a significant jump from the 3,900 that were filed in 1997, indicating the problem has only worsened. If you believe you are the victim of pregnancy discrimination, here's what you need to do to get compensated for damages.

File a Complaint with the EEOC

Many victims of pregnancy discrimination are eager to cut to the chase and file lawsuits against the liable parties. While your attorney can send an intimidating letter to the offending party that may spark settlement negotiations, you must to get approval from the EEOC before you can take your case to court.

The reason for this is because the EEOC wants to investigate the charges first to confirm whether the employer did discriminate against you. If it finds evidence of wrongdoing, the agency will attempt to mediate a resolution between you and your boss. The EEOC is taking these steps likely to keep as many cases out of the courtroom as possible, which helps reduce the load on the legal system.

The complaint must be filed with the agency within 180 days from the discriminatory action. For instance, if your employer fired you shortly after you revealed you were pregnant, you would have to submit a complaint to the EEOC within six months of the date your termination. Failure to follow through on this will result in you being barred from suing your employer in court at all.

Once the EEOC has completed its investigation, it will provide you with a letter authorizing you to sue your employer if it finds your employer culpable. This can make it much easier to prove your case in court and win compensation for your damages and losses.

Gather Evidence of Wrongdoing

Although the EEOC will investigate your complaint, you do need to provide the agency with evidence you faced pregnancy discrimination first. This can be challenging to do because employers aren't always honest about their motivations for the actions they take. If your boss reduced your work hours, he or she can claim it was for business reasons and it would be up to you to prove it was due to your pregnancy.

Luckily, though, even if you don't have direct evidence of wrongdoing, sometimes you can put together a compelling case using circumstantial evidence. If you notice negative things seem to happen to anyone who becomes pregnant at the company or your boss make comments that indicate a negative attitude towards pregnancy and/or pregnant people, you can submit that as evidence of a motive for the action the company took against you.

It's best to discuss the specifics of your case with a personal injury attorney who can guide you through the process and possibly to the outcome you want. For help with your case, contact a lawyer like those at Law Offices Of Timothy L Lapointe PC.