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Can Colorado employers discriminate against pregnant workers?

On Behalf of | Dec 9, 2022 | Discrimination

Few things in life are more exciting than welcoming a new baby into your growing family. Still, while you undoubtedly are looking forward to your pregnancy, your employer may dread the thought of it. That is, your employer may view your pregnancy as a burden on productivity.

Sadly, pregnancy discrimination remains alarmingly common in the U.S. In fact, according to the Equality and Human Rights Commission, as many as 20% of pregnant employees face discrimination at work. Luckily, in Colorado, pregnant workers have some valuable rights and protections.

The Pregnant Workers Discrimination Act

In 2016, Colorado’s Pregnant Workers Discrimination Act became law. Pursuant to the act, employers cannot discriminate against workers because of their pregnancies. This means an employer may not refuse to hire, refuse to promote or terminate the employment of pregnant employees.

Moreover, employers must make reasonable accommodations available to pregnant workers. Reasonable accommodations can include many things, such as providing more break time, restricting job duties or modifying work schedules.

Your damages

In addition to discouraging employers from discriminating against pregnant workers, Colorado’s Pregnant Workers Discrimination Act also has some teeth to it.

Indeed, if you are a victim of discrimination or retaliation, you may have the right to file a lawsuit. If your suit is successful, you may be eligible for compensatory and punitive damage. You even might be able to recover your legal fees.

Ultimately, rather than letting your employer get away with treating you unfairly, it may make sense to use Colorado law to your advantage.