Over the past few decades, working accommodations for pregnant women have improved. But a lot still needs to be done to create a positive environment to nurture women who want to grow their careers while balancing family life. Pregnancy discrimination is one challenge women face in the workplace. Employment law provides maternity leave policies, paternity leaves, and related support. Many pregnant women still face unequal treatment. If you feel like you were denied certain opportunities because you were pregnant, federal law allows you to file an employment discrimination lawsuit.
What Constitutes Pregnancy Discrimination at Work
The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) is an addition to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. It’s intended to protect women from pregnancy discrimination. Such discrimination can take the form of verbal abuse, lack of structures that support their health and well-being, long working hours, and extreme actions such as demoting and firing pregnant employees. The harasser can be anyone within the victim’s immediate working environment. Potential harassers include supervisors, fellow employees, and even clients and customers. The Arizona Civil Rights Act does not explicitly protect against pregnancy discrimination.
Pregnancy and Temporary Disability
Pregnancy can bring cause temporary health complications such as gestational diabetes, edema, preeclampsia, and others. If this happens, the employer is expected to respect the employee’s civil rights and give them an extended leave. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recommends that any extended leave is taken due to pregnancy to be compensated. The Americans with Disabilities Act also recognizes certain pregnancy-related conditions as a temporary disability. The Family and Medical Leave Act provides leave, but the employee must have worked for the employer for at least 12 months, with 1,250 hours worked within the last 12 months. (The PDA does not have a time worked requirement.)
Pregnancy and Workplace Laws
Pregnant and nursing women have rights under provisions such as the Family and Medical Leave Act. The law allows nursing women to take extended leave to tend to their family. A workplace is considered hostile if women are not allowed to express milk for their children. The employer is supposed to make reasonable accommodations for pregnant women within their organization.
Hiring an Employment Law Attorney
Hire an employment attorney if you feel like you were not treated fairly during your pregnancy. A skilled Phoenix discrimination attorney who understands Arizona state law and will help determine if you have a case. Our team at HKM Employment Attorneys offers legal advice on issues such as wrongful termination related to pregnancy, help in filing a discrimination claim, and defending your employee civil rights regardless of your national origin.
Our law firm is located in Phoenix, Arizona. Our goal is to ensure that employers respect the pregnant employee rights. We will help you determine what your rights are depending on the medical condition that has resulted from your pregnancy. Our law firm also helps victims of workplace sexual harassment and any other legal issues related to employment. Contact our employment lawyers today for a sufficient resolution to your case.