Under federal and state anti-discrimination law, it is unlawful sex discrimination for an employer to discriminate against a women because of her pregnancy or pregnancy related medical condition. Employers may not refuse to hire or terminate an employee because she is pregnant. Employers also cannot deny a pregnant worker health insurance, medical leave or other benefits and privileges that the employer grants to non-pregnant employees. Employers must treat pregnant employees the same as other employees who are similar in their ability or inability to work.
Laws prohibiting discrimination against pregnant employees exist to protect the rights of pregnant women and ensure that the have the same access to the workplace as other qualified workers.
Correia & Puth, PLLC is committed to eradicating all forms of sex discrimination in the work place, including pregnancy discrimination. The lawyers of Correia & Puth have experience representing pregnant workers who have been terminated or denied accommodation because of pregnancy. If you believe you have been discriminated because of your pregnancy or pregnancy related medical condition, please contact us.
“Pregnancy and motherhood are not incompatible with work. Our law firm fights to make sure that expecting mothers and mothers with newly born children have the same opportunities to work as are available to non-pregnant workers.”
Under federal law, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (“PDA”) prohibits discrimination against pregnant workers. Under the PDA, an employer who allows workers with temporary disabilities to take extended medical leaves of absence must also provide the same opportunity to pregnant employees. An employer may not force a pregnant employee to remain on medical leave until they give birth or prohibit them from returning until a certain period of time elapses following child birth. An employer may also no institute work place policies that solely affect the working conditions of pregnant workers.
Other federal laws may also provide protections to pregnant workers. For example, in certain circumstances, the Americans with Disabilities Act may impose a duty on an employer to reasonably accommodate an employee’s pregnancy related medical condition. The Family and Medical Leave Act entitles qualifying pregnant workers to take up to twelve weeks of unpaid leave in order to care for newborns or newly adopted children and protects their job while they are out.
State law also prohibits discrimination against pregnant workers, and in some instances, provide greater protection to pregnant workers. In Maryland, for example, the Maryland Pregnancy Discrimination Act mandates that employers provide reasonable accommodations to pregnant employees suffering from pregnancy related medical conditions. Under the D.C. Human Rights Act, woman have the right to breastfeed and employers are required to provide reasonable break periods to enable a woman to breast feed and to make an effort to provide a clean and private area for a mother to pump. D.C.’s Family Leave Act, also provides up to sixteen weeks of unpaid family leave for that a qualifying employee may use to care for a new born child or to recover from a pregnancy related medical condition.
If you believe you are being treated unfairly or have been discriminated against because of pregnancy or a pregnancy-related condition, please call us at 202-602-6500 contact us today.