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The Motherhood Penalty

What Is the Motherhood Penalty?

The motherhood penalty is a term coined by sociologists to explain the wide chasm in employment outcomes between mothers and fathers. The motherhood penalty is real. Men get raises when they have children, but women do not: mothers working full time earn approximately 71% to 76% of what fathers earn. Mothers are perceived to be less committed, less competent, less productive, and therefore less deserving of high wages.

Download our FREE eBook for more information and tips for working pregnant mothers.

Facts About the Motherhood Penalty

Americans admit to being hugely prejudiced against working mothers. A study found that 41% of employed Americans perceive working moms to be less devoted to their work and 38% judge them for needing flexible schedules. The same study found that a shocking 72% of working parents agree that women are penalized in their careers for starting families, while men are not.

Many women clearly perceive that pregnancy discrimination is real. 21% of women would be worried to tell their boss they were expecting a child—a figure that has almost doubled since 2014. Women are becoming more nervous to tell their boss about their pregnancy because they know the consequences it may have on their careers. But where is pregnancy discrimination’s #metoo moment?

Motherhood Penalty Statistics and Data

If you have faced discrimination due to your pregnancy, call King & Siegel for an experienced team of attorneys who can advocate and fight to protect your rights.


Free "Pregnant at Work" Guide

Our eBook is a toolkit for pregnant workers to help them navigate being a working mother, including pregnancy discrimination, maternity leave laws, requesting accommodations, and more. 

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Experienced & Dedicated Pregnancy Discrimination Lawyers King & Siegel LLP is Ready to Fight For The Justice You Deserve

Few employment law firms specialize in pregnancy discrimination cases. These cases often involve specific medical issues unique to pregnant workers and require an attorney to interpret a maze of complicated leave laws. We are passionate about pregnancy-related discrimination cases and devote a large portion of our practice to this specialized set of cases. Statistics show that women earn about the same as men until they have children, when the wage gaps immediately hits women the hardest. The only way to stop this pattern is to stand up to pregnancy discrimination when it happens. We are here to help.