What is Pregnancy Discrimination?
Pregnancy discrimination is a form of sex discrimination. It can happen many ways to an employee who is pregnant. Instances include the employer demoting you due to your pregnancy, or even refusing to hire you. If your employer disciplines you for missing work due to the pregnancy or related medical conditions, this is also grounds for a case.
Other cases of pregnancy discrimination can include:
- Being fired due to inability to perform a job for a short time due to being pregnant
- Harassment on the job or being treated differently due to pregnancy
- The benefits, promotions, or insurance given to you are not the same as those given to other employees
- Being disciplined after requesting time off from work for doctor visits or for missing work
Legal Protection Under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act
A federal law, The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 (PDA) aims to prevent gender discrimination associated with pregnancy or childbirth. The law is an amendment to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, enforced by The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
If you are pregnant, your employer is legally required to provide reasonable accommodations. This law is intended to protect employees by guaranteeing equal treatment of disabilities, which includes pregnancy for companies that employ more than 15 people.
Enforced by the U.S. Department of Labor, the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) says a new parent may be eligible for 12 weeks of unpaid leave (or paid if the employee has earned it) to care for a new child. This includes adopted and foster children. The employee must have worked for the employer for 12 months before being eligible, and the employer must have a specific number of employees.
Employers must provide the following protections:
- Allow pregnant women to work as long as they can perform the job
- Guarantee job security while on maternity leave
- Give the same health, disability, and sick leave as other employees
- Modify task or give alternate task if necessary
A pregnancy discrimination claim can be complicated to file and pursue, which is why it is best to have an employment lawyer defend your claim. If you have experienced employment discrimination while pregnant, you could have a case against your employer. Contact our law firm today for more information about workplace discrimination and ppeak to an experienced employment lawyer.
If you are looking for a pregnancy discrimination lawyer in Washington, D.C., look no further than HKM Employment Attorneys LLP. We have a professional staff ready to hear your story and help you get the compensation you deserve. Working to represent workers in all aspects of employment law, we help you through the filing and resolution process.