Pregnancy discrimination is a form of workplace discrimination that violates the federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) of 1978, which amends Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The PDA forbids employers with 15 or more employees from discriminating against women because of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. Unfortunately, despite these protections, pregnancy discrimination still occurs in all states and across industries, affecting women’s employment, earnings, and opportunities.
The Crone Law Firm focuses exclusively on employment law matters, including pregnancy discrimination. Learn more about this form of workplace discrimination and your rights as an employee.
What is Pregnancy Discrimination?
Pregnancy discrimination in the workplace can take many forms. The most common include failing to promote, demoting, refusing to hire, or even firing pregnant workers after learning they are pregnant. Workers have also been fired because they took medical leave for pregnancy or pregnancy-related conditions like a miscarriage.
Your employer is not allowed to discriminate against you in any way based on a:
- Current pregnancy
- Past pregnancy
- Potential pregnancy
- Medical conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth
If you have a question about pregnancy discrimination or wonder if a specific action is discriminatory, contact The Crone Law Firm today for a consultation.
Legal Protections Against Pregnancy Discrimination
The PDA makes it illegal for employers to discriminate against women because of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. This means that pregnant workers must be provided with the same benefits and accommodations and treated the same as non-pregnant workers who have similar abilities or limitations to their work.
In addition to the PDA, many states and local municipalities have laws that offer additional protections to pregnant workers. These laws may require employers to provide reasonable accommodations, such as time off for prenatal appointments or a temporary transfer to less strenuous work.
If you believe you have experienced pregnancy discrimination, you have the right to file a charge of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or a state or local fair employment practice agency. The EEOC investigates charges of discrimination and may file a lawsuit on your behalf or issue a “right to sue” letter, which allows you to file a lawsuit in court.
Preventing and Reporting Pregnancy Discrimination
The best way to prevent pregnancy discrimination is to be informed about your rights and to communicate with your employer about your needs. Here are some practical tips for preventing and reporting pregnancy discrimination:
- Know your rights. Familiarize yourself with the PDA and any state or local laws that protect pregnant workers. Review your employer’s accommodations and leave policies, and ensure you understand your options.
- Communicate with your employer. If you need a reasonable accommodation, such as a modified work schedule or a temporary transfer to less strenuous work, ask for it. Be clear about your needs and provide any necessary documentation from your doctor.
- Document everything. Keep records of any conversations, emails, or other communications with your employer about your pregnancy or related medical conditions. If you experience any adverse actions, such as being denied a promotion or being harassed by a coworker, document those as well.
- Report discrimination promptly. If you believe you have experienced pregnancy discrimination, report it to your employer’s human resources department or other appropriate person as soon as possible. Follow up in writing and keep a copy of your complaint.
- Seek legal advice. If you are unsure about your rights or need help navigating the reporting process, seek advice from an employment law attorney at The Crone Law Firm.
Pregnancy Discrimination is Against the Law – Get Help Now
Pregnancy discrimination is a form of sex discrimination that violates the federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act and state and local laws. If you are experiencing pregnancy discrimination in Tennessee, Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kansas, or anywhere else across the Southeast, The Crone Law Firm can help you take action to protect your rights and combat injustice. Contact us today in Memphis, Chicago, or St. Louis to schedule a free consultation.