What Is The Pregnancy Discrimination Act

Pda Does Not Cover Pregnancy Accommodation

Greater Boston Video: Pregnancy Discrimination Case

While the PDA forbids discrimination against pregnant workers, it does not require that employers accommodate pregnant workers. Indeed, no federal law at present requires that employers accommodate pregnant workers. Although there is a federal bill requiring such consideration, the measure hasnt received much consideration in the U.S. Senate.

However, several states have moved forward. They mandate that employers do more than refrain from discriminating against pregnant workers. They even go one step further to accommodate pregnant workers. About 29 states require employers to accommodate expecting working women, according to Workplace Fairness.

One such state is Kentucky. The Blue GrassStatess pregnancy accommodation law went into effect in 2019. Employers must provide pregnant workers with things including:

  • More frequent or longer breaks
  • Comfortable seating
  • Private space that is not a bathroom for expressing breast milk
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Can You Be Laid Off While On Maternity Leave

New parents may wonder, can you be let go while on maternity leave? It is not against the law to lay off or fire someone on maternity leave however, it is against the law to fire someone because theyre on maternity leave. Employers can let employees go for non-discriminatory reasons, even on maternity leave.

But laying off men or women because they took protected parental leave can qualify as pregnancy discrimination.

Facts About The Pregnancy Discrimination Act

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act is an amendment to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 under Title VII. Under Title VII, discrimination based on pregnancy, childbirth and associated medical condition is considered unlawful sex discrimination. Pregnant women who are affected by pregnancy-related conditions must be treated in the same manner as other employees with disabilities with the same level of ability or inability to work. So what does the pregnancy discrimination act cover under it? Here are broad categories:

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What Is A Reasonable Accommodation For Pregnancy

A reasonable accommodation is a reasonable modification or adjustment to the job application process or work environment, or to the manner or circumstances under which the position desired or held is customarily performed, that enable an applicant or employee affected by pregnancy to be considered for the position or to perform the essential functions of that position. Examples can include:

  • More frequent or longer bathroom breaks

  • Breaks for increased water intake

  • Breaks for periodic rests

  • Private non-bathroom space for expressing breast milk and breastfeeding

  • Seating

  • Temporary transfer to a less strenuous or hazardous position

  • The provision of an accessible worksite

  • Acquisition or modification of equipment

  • Job restructuring

  • A part-time or modified work schedule

  • Appropriate modifications of examinations, training materials, or polices

  • Reassignment to a vacant position

  • Time off to recover from pregnancy and

  • Leave necessitated by pregnancy.

  • Proving Your Pregnancy Discrimination Claim

    Book With Title The Pregnancy Discrimination Act Stock Photo

    Some types of discrimination are relatively straightforward. For example, if an employer extends short-term disability leave to employees who are ill or have been injured, but refuses the same leave for a pregnancy-related condition, the discrimination may be fairly clear. Others, such as discrimination in choosing an employee for promotion, may be more difficult to prove, since many variables will be considered in promoting an employee.

    The best way to determine the right approach for your situation is to talk with an experienced Ohio employment discrimination attorney as soon as possible. The attorneys at Dyer, Garofalo, Mann & Schultz have extensive experience in helping victims of employment discrimination in all forms. We understand how important it is for you to have accurate information about your rights and options. So, we offer free consultations to Ohio employees.

    If an EEOC charge is required before filing a lawsuitwhich is the case in most employment discrimination casesyour time to take action is very limited. Its in your best interest to get the information you need right now. Just call or fill out the contact form on this site to schedule your free consultation.

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    What To Expect When You’re Expecting At Work

    The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978, which amended Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000e et seq., prohibits discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. 1 Pregnancy discrimination involves treating an individual an applicant or employee unfavorably in any aspect of employment, including hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, layoffs, training, fringe benefits , and any other terms or conditions of employment. Statutory protections from pregnancy discrimination apply to all DOL employees and applicants for DOL employment.

    Who Does The Pregnancy Discrimination Act Protect

    The Pregnancy Discrimination Act protects employees who work for companies with 15 or more employees. Under the act, victims of pregnancy discrimination have 180 days to file a charge. Federal employees have 45 days to contact an EEO Counselor.

    Many state and local laws offer even stronger protections. For example, the NYC Human Rights Law covers all employers with four or more employees, and victims of pregnancy discrimination can file in state court for up to three years.

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    What If Pregnancy Or Childbirth Prevents Someone From Doing The Job

    Most women are able to work throughout their pregnancies, and the law prevents employers from discriminating against a pregnant woman or new mother who is able to perform the job. But, what happens if pregnancy complications prevent an employee from fulfilling all of her usual job duties, or the job itself presents some special risks for a pregnant woman?

    The specific solution will depend on the job, the employee, and the exact restrictions involved. But, the general rule is that an employee who is unable to perform some job responsibilities due to pregnancy or childbirth-related conditions is entitled to the same treatment as any other employee who was facing temporary disability or restrictions.

    That may mean:

    • Accommodating the employee with changes such as allowing more frequent breaks or allowing the employee to sit down while working
    • Honoring medical restrictions, such as lifting limits
    • Offering the same leave options that would be available to an employee facing another type of temporary disability, such as unpaid leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act or other leave offered by the employer

    How The Pregnancy Discrimination Act Protects Women

    Ducey signs bill banning workplace pregnancy discrimination

    The Pregnancy Discrimination Act requires employers to treat pregnant women the same way they do all other workers or job applicants. It is an amendment to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and is covered under sex discrimination. Employers may not make decisions about hiring applicants or firing or promoting workers based on pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. All companies that employ 15 or more people are subject to this law.

    Here is how the law protects pregnant job seekers and employees:

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    An Overview Of Pregnancy Discrimination Charge Data

    Charges alleging pregnancy discrimination under the PDA can be filed with the EEOC or with state or local Fair Employment Practices Agencies around the country that are designated to receive charges filed under federal or state law. The last two decades have included periods of rapid growth of pregnancy discrimination charge filings. Looking at the 15-year period from fiscal years 1997 through 2011, nearly 6,000 federal pregnancy discrimination charges were filed with the EEOC and state or local FEPAs in fiscal year 2011an almost 50 percent increase from the slightly fewer than 4,000 complaints filed in fiscal year 1997. Since then, the EEOC has changed the scope of the data that are publicly available, including only data on charges filed directly with the EEOC and not including charge data from local FEPAs. The EEOC-specific data from fiscal years 2012 through 2017 show relatively stagnant levels of complaints through 2017although the change in how the data are reported provides a less complete picture of the scope of pregnancy discrimination nationwide.

    Benefits If You Are Expecting A New Baby

    What can I claim if I am expecting a new baby?

    Once your baby is born you can claim Child Benefit. Families in receipt of child benefit will be subject to a high earner child benefit charge if one or more parent earns more than £50,000.

    Tax Credits

    If you are already claiming Child Tax Credit and/or Working Tax Credit you may be able to claim an additional amount for a new baby or if your income drops or you go onto sick pay or maternity pay. The first £100 per week of SMP and all of Maternity Allowance is ignored as income for tax credits purposes so you may be entitled to more help during your maternity pay period. You should get advice before making a new claim for Universal Credit as this will end your tax credits and you may be worse off on Universal Credit. For more information or to report any changes of circumstances, contact the Tax Credit Helpline on 0345 300 3900 or see: www.gov.uk/child-tax-credit/already-claiming.

    Universal Credit

    You may be able to claim Universal Credit if you lose your job, you are on a low income or Statutory Sick Pay or during your maternity leave. Statutory Sick Pay and Statutory Maternity Pay are largely disregarded if you are claiming Universal Credit but Maternity Allowance is treated as unearned income and is deducted from Universal Credit.

    Food vouchers and Sure Start/Best Start Maternity Grant

    Housing and council tax

    For more information on benefits for pregnant women and new families, see: Money for Parents and Babies.

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    Retaliation Due To Maternity Leave Discrimination

    Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for employers to unlawfully retaliate when employees take maternity leave. Thankfully, New Jersey state and federal laws, including the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, exist to protect individuals against retaliatory acts by an employer for protected activity such as taking maternity leave. Retaliation can include termination, demotion, unfair disciplinary measures, or any other unfavorable action. If you are subjected to workplace retaliation for putting your child first, the pregnancy discrimination lawyers at McOmber McOmber & Luber, P.C. may be able to protect your career.

    Fmla And Maternity Leave

    Know Your Rights: Pregnancy Discrimination

    Under the Family Medical Leave Act , you may take up to 12 week of unpaid leave in any 12-month period. This law also covers other circumstances, such as personal or family illnesses. When you return to work, you must be allowed to resume the same job you had before your leave, and you must be entitled to the benefits and entitlements you had previously. You may also continue to receive group health insurance and benefits during your leave.

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    Is Being Pregnant A Protected Class Is Pregnancy A Protected Characteristic

    According to federal law, pregnancy qualifies as a protected characteristic under sex discrimination laws. As a result, being pregnant places women in a protected class. Many state and local laws offer additional protections for pregnant employees.

    For example, in New York City, the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act guarantees reasonable accommodations for pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition.

    Do Fathers Have Any Rights Under The Act

    Yes. Under the PDA, fathers have the right to take a leave of absence when their wife is pregnant to become her caregiver. Fathers with these caregiving duties cannot be discriminated against, as doing so infringes on the Americans with Disabilities Act when the discrimination is based on his wifes pregnancy. Further, new fathers can take up to 12 weeks of unpaid time off under the Family Medical Leave Act .

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    Additional Protection When Youre Breastfeeding

    If youre being treated unfavourably because youre breastfeeding your baby whos over 26 weeks old, the Equality Act says its direct sex discrimination. Unlike other direct sex discrimination cases, you dont have to show that you were treated worse than someone of the opposite sex. All you need to show is that you were treated worse than if you hadnt been breastfeeding.


    Youre breastfeeding your 9-month-old baby on the bus. The driver tells you to leave the bus. This would not be pregnancy and maternity discrimination because its outside the 26-week time limit. But it would be direct sex discrimination if you could show that you wouldnt have been asked to leave the bus if you hadnt been breastfeeding.

    What Accommodations Might A Pregnant Employee Need

    When workplace conditions put womens pregnancies at risk

    Reasonable accommodations made for someone whose pregnancy impairs their regular job duties can include:

    • Modifying certain workplace policies, such as allowing a pregnant employee more frequent breaks or allowing her to keep a bottle of water at her workstation
    • Making allowances in the employees work schedule so that she may arrive later than normal due to morning sickness
    • Allowing a pregnant employee who has been placed on bed rest by her doctor to work remotely when possible
    • Providing reasonable equipment to accommodate a pregnant employees continued work, for example, a stool for sitting while performing job tasks

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    Your Questions About Workers Rights Answered

    Pregnancy discrimination harms people in the workplace. Employers cannot refuse to hire or fire someone because of pregnancy or a pregnancy-related condition.

    But what is pregnancy discrimination? Can an employer ask if you are pregnant? And is pregnancy a protected class?

    Keep reading to learn about your legal protections against pregnancy discrimination.

    The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

    The EEOC is responsible for enforcing all federal laws on workplace harassment and discrimination this includes discrimination based on pregnancy, childbirth, and other related medical conditions. The EEOC regulates most employers, unions, and agencies with over 15 employees.

    The EEOC will fairly investigate all cases of discrimination that are reported to it and arrive at a conclusion. Where it finds that discrimination has occurred, it will endeavor to settle the charge with the employer. If it fails to do so, then it has the ability to file a lawsuit against the employer and litigate the case in court. However, the EEOC will only take very few cases to court and will mostly attempt to settle the matter out of court through the use of alternative dispute resolution such as conciliation and arbitration.

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    Know Your Local Rights

    As of May 2019, at least 25 states and five cities had passed their own laws requiring employers to provide reasonable accommodations to pregnant employees. But confusion can arise when local, state and federal laws offer different protections. When health complications arising from a difficult pregnancy trigger coverage by local disability laws, for example, multiple human rights laws and family leave laws may also come into play. A Better Balance provides a searchable database of laws in every state, and workers can also call its helpline, 1-833-NEED-ABB, or 415-703-8276 for the Center for WorkLife Law.

    Should I Consult An Attorney

    EEOC Releases Enforcement Guidance: Pregnancy Discrimination Act, July ...

    A discrimination lawyer can be extremely useful in helping an employee with pregnancy discrimination matters. The filing of an employment discrimination complaint and gathering relevant evidence requires an attorney with knowledge of employment law. In addition, a knowledgeable lawyer can help to guide workers in any settlement arrangements.

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    What Are The Hiring And Working Conditions Required Of Pregnant Women

    Employers cannot refuse to hire a woman because she is pregnant or because of her pregnancy-related conditions so long as she can perform the primary functions of her job. For example, suppose a pregnant woman is interviewing for a job that requires her to lift 100 pounds multiple times a day, and the pregnant woman cannot due to her pregnancy. In that case, the employer would not be found liable for pregnancy discrimination.

    Additionally, employers cannot refuse to hire a woman based on prejudices against pregnant workers. Specifically, employers cannot fire a woman or require her to stop working when her pregnancy becomes apparent or refuse to hire a pregnant woman under the assumption that she would quit work once she has her child.

    What Prohibits Discrimination Against Pregnant Employees

    Federal, state, and local laws prohibit discrimination against pregnant employees.

    At the federal level, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 protects employees from discrimination or harassment on the basis of pregnancy.

    State and local laws also prohibit discrimination against pregnant employees. For example, in NYC the New York City Human Rights Law and the New York State Human Rights Law both prohibit pregnancy discrimination.

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    Learn About Direct Evidence And Circumstantial Evidence Of Pregnancy Discrimination

    By Lisa Guerin, J.D.

    Do you believe you weren’t hired, didn’t get a promotion, were denied benefits, or were fired because of your pregnancy? If so, you’re not alone: Thousands of charges alleging pregnancy discrimination are filed with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and similar state agencies each year. And, the EEOC announced recently that pregnancy discrimination, particularly in the form of pregnant employees being denied light duty and other accommodations, was an enforcement priority for the agency.

    This article explains what you will have to prove to win a pregnancy discrimination lawsuit. For information on taking action to enforce your rights, see our articles on filing a charge or lawsuit alleging discrimination.

    What Is The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act And Why Do We Need It

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    In 2020, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act by a bipartisan vote. The bill died in the Senate. Now, the bill has been proposed again. Here is why the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act is necessary and long overdue.

    If you work in California and want to understand your rights, learn more through our extensive resources collection or download or free guide and toolkit.

    The Pregnancy Discrimination Act

    In 1976, the Supreme Court found that pregnancy discrimination was not a form of gender discrimination under the federal civil rights laws. Congress quickly stepped in to right this wrong by passing the Pregnancy Discrimination Act in 1978. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act remains the primary source of protection for pregnant workers who need on-the-job accommodations at the federal level.

    So what does it do? The Pregnancy Discrimination Act provides that employers with more than 15 employees cannot discriminate on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. This means that an employer must treat a pregnant worker the same as any other temporarily disabled employee for example, by providing light duty, modified tasks, alternative assignments, disability leave, or leave without pay. An employer may have to provide a reasonable accommodation for a disability related to pregnancy, absent undue hardship .

    The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act

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