Although the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) was passed in 1978, many people still face discrimination because of pregnancy and childbirth-related medical conditions. PDA prohibits most employers from discriminating against a woman because it constitutes sex discrimination, which is unlawful under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Together, these two laws protect women who are pregnant or have medical conditions related to pregnancy and/or childbirth.
If you have been the victim of pregnancy discrimination, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible. Rubin Law Corporation has worked with countless clients who faced situations similar to yours, and we can help you. Call us today.
How Often Does Pregnancy Discrimination Occur in the Workplace?
Thousands of people file discrimination charges with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission every year. Employers commonly force pregnant women to take unpaid leave or work lower paying jobs. However, in most situations this kind of discrimination is unlawful.
As an amendment to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act prohibits any discrimination “on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions.” Women who are pregnant or who are affected by childbirth are supposed to be treated like any other employee. To treat them otherwise is sex discrimination.
Here are five things you should know about the Pregnancy Discrimination Act:
1. Your Employer Cannot Fire or Refuse to Hire You Because You Are Pregnant
One of the main components of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act is that your employer cannot fire or reassign you to a lesser job because you are pregnant. A potential employer may not refuse to hire you simply because you are pregnant. Additionally, your employer cannot prohibit you from working. Your employer may not tell you to stop coming to work simply because you are pregnant. Your employer also may not tell you not to come back to work after you give birth.
If your employer fires you or reassigns you for other reasons while you are pregnant, they may not have violated the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. However, they would have to prove that they did not discriminate against you based on your pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical issues. You should reach out to a pregnancy discrimination lawyer immediately if you think you your employer fired or reassigned you due to pregnancy or childbirth-related issues.
2. Your Employer Cannot Require You to Submit to Special Procedures Due to Your Pregnancy
If you are pregnant or have childbirth-related issues, your employer cannot require you to submit to special procedures to prove that you can complete your job duties. If your employer requires all workers to submit to the same procedures, then you may also have to complete those tasks. However, your employer may not treat you differently and discriminate against you, according to the Pregnancy Discrimination Act.
3. Pregnancy Is a Temporary Disability Under the Law
Although temporary, the law considers pregnancy a disability. You should therefore be accorded the same treatment as any other person who is disabled in some way. Your employer should treat you the same way that they would anyone else who is temporarily sick or disabled. If other employees would be given allowances and accommodations, then you must be as well. Additionally, your employer must hold your job for you while you take time off work if that is what they would do for other employees. Any failure to meet these requirements is a violation of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act.
4. Your Employer Must Accommodate Breastfeeding and Lactation
In addition to covering pregnancy-related conditions, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act covers issues related to childbirth, including past and future pregnancies. This includes needs for breastfeeding and lactation. If you are breastfeeding your child and need time to handle lactation, then your employer must accommodate that need.
5. Employer-Provided Health Plans Must Treat Pregnancies and Related Conditions
To avoid discrimination under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, your employer-provided health plan must treat your pregnancy and related conditions the same way it treats other medical conditions. Pregnant employees must have access to the same benefits they had prior to their pregnancy.
Contact Us to Learn More About the Pregnancy Discrimination Act
If you feel you’ve been the victim of discrimination because of your pregnancy, you likely have many questions. Call a pregnancy discrimination lawyer at Rubin Law Corporation today for more information.