Of the labor laws that protect workers from employment discrimination, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act is one that all women who are pregnant or considering pregnancy should know and understand, especially when a case is severe enough to require an employment discrimination lawyer.
The PDA requires employers to treat pregnant employees the same way they would treat any other employee who is temporarily disabled from working by their health. This means that the treatment a pregnant woman receives should be no worse or no better than an employee who is injured or ill to the point that it prevents them from working.
The PDA was enacted to prevent discriminatory workplace practices that used to be common, like firing women who became pregnant or forcing them to stop working if they started to show. It also targets employers who would refuse to hire pregnant women because they would eventually stop working.
Though the PDA bans several practices, it doesn’t require employers to give pregnant employees special treatment. Employers aren’t even required to give pregnant employees pregnancy leave unless it also provides a temporary disability leave to other employees who are unable to work due to injury or illness.
If you’re considering contacting an employment discrimination lawyer because your employer suspended benefits or seniority during a complicated pregnancy, you’ll only have a case if your employer would do the same thing to an employee who took the same amount of time off for another reason.
Even though the PDA doesn’t protect time off and benefits, state laws might, so even if you don’t have a case through the PDA, a good employment discrimination lawyer may be able to prove that your rights were violated under another law.
One out of every four pregnancy discrimination complaints received by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission are settled in the worker’s favor, and employment lawyers are always available if a claim needs more weight behind it.