The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) explains that Pregnancy discrimination involves treating a woman (an applicant or employee) unfavorably because of pregnancy, childbirth, or a medical condition related to pregnancy or childbirth.
The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) makes it illegal to discrimination based on pregnancy when it comes to any aspect of employment, including hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, layoff, training, fringe benefits, such as leave and health insurance, and any other term or condition of employment.
Further, the PDA makes it unlawful to harass a woman because of pregnancy, childbirth, or a medical condition related to pregnancy or childbirth. Harassment is illegal when it is so frequent or severe that it creates a hostile or offensive work environment or when it results in an adverse employment decision (e.g., being fired or demoted). The harasser can be the victim's supervisor, a supervisor in another area, a co-worker, or someone who is not an employee of the employer, such as a client or customer.
What if, during my pregnancy, I have a condition that leaves me with a temporary disability? If a woman is temporarily unable to perform her job due to a medical condition related to pregnancy or childbirth, the employer or other covered entity must treat her in the same way as it treats any other temporarily disabled employee. Your employer may have to provide you with light duty, an alternative assignment, disability leave, or unpaid leave if it does so for other temporarily disabled employees.
Other legal protections for pregnant employees. For example, a pregnant employee may be afforded protections under the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
If you believe that your employer has violated the law, call Holman & Stefanowicz, LLC at 312-258-9700 for a free evaluation of your potential claim. We can help determine whether you have a claim.