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What is Pregnancy Discrimination?

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Pregnancy discrimination is discrimination based on pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions and constitutes unlawful sex discrimination under The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA), which is an amendment to the title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

This protection ensures that a woman cannot be refused employment because of pregnancy or pregnancy related conditions as long as she is able to perform the functions of her job. It also restricts discrimination regarding any other aspect of employment including pay, promotions, trainings, benefits, etc.

Maternity and Pregnancy Leave

An employer may not require pregnant employees to submit to standards different than any other employee in regards to medical clearance procedures. For example, doctor’s statements cannot be required for employees with pregnancy related conditions concerning their inability to work before granting leave or sick benefits if other employees are not required to do the same.

Temporary Disability and Pregnancy

If an employee is unable to perform her job due to pregnancy, the employer must treat her the same as any other temporarily disabled employee. For example, providing light duty, modified tasks, disability leave, or leave without pay.

Employers must hold open a position for temporarily disabled pregnant employees with the same terms and conditions as other employees on temporary leave.

There are a lot of examples that demonstrate how and why an employer is not allowed to discriminate against a pregnant employee or one who suffers from conditions or complications from her pregnancy but the main point is that these employees cannot be treated differently than other employees and are entitled to all the same benefits, concessions, and respect as any other employee. From the hiring process to working conditions and leave, pregnancy is not to be seen as a reason or an excuse to treat her differently.

Contact an Attorney

If you have been discriminated against because of pregnancy or a pregnancy related condition, not been given proper leave, or terminated because you needed to take leave, then you may have a case against your employer for wrongful termination. Contact the attorneys at Goldman & Ehrlich at 312-332-6733 or fill out our online contact form and we will contact you as soon as possible.