Pregnancy discrimination protections for workers

| Feb 22, 2021 | employment law

Workers are protected from discrimination based on pregnancy or discrimination based on the fact that they may become pregnant. To ensure they are protected from pregnancy discrimination, workers should be familiar with what is required of their employers.

Protections against pregnancy discrimination

Pregnancy discrimination is prohibited and includes treating a female employee or job applicant different because of pregnancy, childbirth or a related medical condition. Examples of what employers are prohibited from doing on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth or related medical condition include:

  • Prohibitions against refusing to hire or promote, or firing, a pregnant employee because of the employee’s pregnancy, childbirth or related medical condition.
  • Prohibitions against asking illegal interview questions of pregnant applicants that they would not ask non-pregnant applicants.
  • Prohibitions against discriminating against employees who may become pregnant.
  • Prohibitions against forbidding a pregnant employee from continuing to work as long as she is physically capable of performing the work and all related tasks associated with the work.
  • Prohibitions against requiring notice of pregnancy unless it serves a legitimate business purpose and is not used to restrict the employee’s job opportunities.
  • Requirement that the job be held open for any pregnancy-related absence for the same period of time that a job would be held open for employees on sick or disability leave.

Other prohibitions and requirements of employers may also be applicable. Employment discrimination is important to understand and to be familiar with how to protect against. Most everyone relies on a job to support themselves and care for their families, including pregnant women, which is why they should be familiar with these important protections against pregnancy discrimination.

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