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N.B. Human Rights Commission issues guidelines on pregnancy discrimination

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New Brunswick's human rights commission has issued new guidelines in an effort to combat pregnancy discrimination. Getty Images

The New Brunswick Human Rights Commission has issued a new series of guidelines on pregnancy discrimination in the province.

The commission released the guidelines on Tuesday, which marks International Human Rights Day and the anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations in 1948.

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“Discrimination against pregnant women and women of childbearing age manifests in subtle ways and works to marginalize and disempower these women, preventing them from following their career paths and achieving their full professional potential,” commission chair Nathalie Chiasson said in a press release.

This year, the commission is focusing on pregnancy discrimination to help educate the public about such discrimination in housing, services and employment.

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“Employers must not treat their female employees differently because of pregnancy or pregnancy-related circumstances,” said Chiasson.

“Any woman who feels she has been adversely affected, denied a service or a promotion or demoted or excluded because of her pregnancy should consult the guideline and contact the commission.”

The commission is also urging employers and managers to adopt a gender-diversity strategy to help ensure their businesses offer equitable pay in all jobs.