Federal and state laws protect the rights of pregnant women at work. And ensures that they are treated fairly — the same as all other employees. If an employer doesn’t follow these laws, the company could be held responsible for damages. Interestingly, fathers can also be discriminated against during a pregnancy. Under the Family and Medical Leave Act, fathers have rights to unpaid maternity leave, which some employers try to limit. Schwimer Weinstein is very experienced at applying the appropriate laws to make sure your rights are protected.
The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA)
This federal law amended Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to “prohibit sex discrimination on the basis of pregnancy.” The act covers discrimination “on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions.” It covers the entire employment process, including hiring, promotions, termination and compensation. And it identifies employer responsibilities as well as the rights held by employees who are pregnant.
Under the PDA, employers must adhere to these key requirements:
The PDA further clarifies that it is unlawful for an employer to:
The Americans with Disabilities Act also weighs in on employer responsibility.
Under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), a pregnant employee is entitled to 12 weeks of unpaid leave to care for a newborn. Fathers are also entitled to this unpaid leave under the provisions of the FMLA. Some companies offer paid maternity leave as part of their benefits package. If paid maternity leave has been provided to one pregnant employee, it cannot be withheld or curtailed with another. Whatever benefits or services an employer offers its “temporarily disabled” employees, it must also make available to a pregnant employee.
How does the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) factor into pregnancy?
If a pregnant worker cannot perform at her job, and the circumstance qualifies as a type of disability, then the employee falls under the protection of the ADA and could have other claims. If you believe that your pregnancy has caused you to be discriminated against, the attorneys of Schwimer Weinstein have extensive employment law experience they can apply to help you fully understand your rights.
We can help. Contact Schwimer Weinstein for a free, no-obligation consultation.