Workers are protected from pregnancy discrimination in their workplaces. To ensure that an employer does not violate pregnancy discrimination protections, it is helpful for pregnant employees and employees planning on becoming pregnant to be familiar with workplace pregnancy discrimination protections.
Pregnancy discrimination protections
It is illegal to discriminate against an employee on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth or a medical condition related to pregnancy or childbirth. Woman who are affected by pregnancy, childbirth or a medical condition related to pregnancy or childbirth must be treated as any other employee or job applicant with a similar ability to work.
Employers cannot discriminate against pregnant job applicants in the hiring process. Employers cannot refuse to hire a woman because of a pregnancy-related medical condition as long as the prospective employee is able to perform the major functions of the job. Pregnant employees, and employees experiencing a pregnancy-related medical condition, also cannot be discriminated against in any other aspect of employment such as pay, job assignments, promotions, layoffs, training, fringe benefits, firing or any other condition of employment. Whatever medical leave benefits are provided must also be provided to pregnant employees on medical leave for pregnancy-related medical conditions.
It is important that pregnant employees are treated as any other similarly-situated employee in terms of their ability to perform the requirements of their job or the job they are applying for. Employment law provides a number of different protections for workers it is essential to be familiar with to ensure they are enforced and pregnant workers and job applicants are protected.