Pregnancy discrimination in the workplace: What you need to know

On Behalf of | Aug 2, 2021 | Gender Discrimination

Most employees in every state, including New York state, are protected from workplace discrimination. While laws are in place to protect workers, employers still frequently discriminate against workers of every class. This includes pregnant employees.

Understanding the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA)

The PDA was added to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Title VII is a federal law that states that discrimination against an employee due to pregnancy, childbirth or other related medical issues is unlawful sex discrimination.  

An employer is required to treat a pregnant employee the same as other employees. This means she must be treated like other employees in connection to promotions, pay, job assignments, training, benefits, firing or layoffs. Further, employers cannot refuse to hire an employee simply because she is pregnant.

Employers are forbidden from singling out pregnant mothers by requiring them to submit a doctor’s statement about an inability to work if other employees aren’t required to submit such a statement. If she is temporarily unable to work, her employer must treat her just as they treat other employees who are temporarily disabled.  

Pregnant employees seeking employment or currently working and have questions about possible discrimination are encouraged to seek guidance from a legal professional.

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