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Pregnancy Discrimination

When you experience an adverse employment action at work due to pregnancy, you may be entitled to recover damages. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is pregnancy discrimination?

Pregnancy discrimination occurs when an employer subjects an employee to some sort of adverse employment action, or subjects the employee to less than favorable treatment, on the basis of the employee’s pregnancy. In essence the law treats pregnancy discrimination as a form of sex and or disability discrimination.

It is unlawful for your employer to discriminate against or harass you because of pregnancy, perceived pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding or any related medical condition. It is also unlawful for your employer to retaliate against you because of pregnancy, perceived pregnancy or because you exercised the right to take a pregnancy disability leave or sought reasonable accommodations.

How do you know if you are disabled from pregnancy?

An employee is “disabled by pregnancy” if a health care provider deems that the employee is unable, because of pregnancy, to perform any one or more of the essential job functions, or to perform any of these functions without undue risk to the employee, the successful completion of the pregnancy or to other people.

Disabled by pregnancy includes, but is not limited to, time when the employee suffers from severe morning sickness or needs time off for:

  • Prenatal or Postnatal care

  • Bed rest

  • Gestational diabetes

  • Pregnancy-induced hypertension

  • Preeclampsia

  • Postpartum depression

  • Childbirth

  • Loss or end of pregnancy

  • Recovery from childbirth or loss or end of pregnancy

  • Breastfeeding or expressing milk

It is important to note that an employee’s health care provider ultimately decides if the employee is disabled by pregnancy.

Perceived Pregnancy: Discrimination protections also include “perceived pregnancy,” defined as being regarded or treated by an employer as being pregnant or having a related medical condition. This protects employees from being discriminated against or harassed because the employer thinks or believes the employee is pregnant, regardless of whether the employee is actually pregnant. For example, an employer who terminates an employee because he thinks the employee is pregnant cannot later argue that the termination was not wrongful simply because it turned out the employee was not in fact pregnant.

What reasonable accommodations are you entitled to if pregnant?

Your employer is to provide a reasonable accommodation if you are affected by pregnancy and needs  change in the work environment or job duties to enable you to perform the essential functions of your job. Remember, you only need to be affected by pregnancy; not disabled by pregnancy, for reasonable accommodation and transfer requests to apply. You and your employer will engage in a good faith interactive process to address what reasonable accommodations would be appropriate. Examples of common reasonable accommodations may include, but are not limited to:

  • Modifying work practices or policies

  • Modifying work duties

  • Modifying work schedules to permit earlier or later hours

  • Permitting more frequent breaks

  • Providing furniture or acquiring or modifying equipment or devices

  • Providing a reasonable amount of break time and use of a room or other location in close proximity to the employee’s work are to express breast milk in private

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Zero Cost Fees

This means there are no initial fees incurred by the client and you pay nothing unless we win your case. If we don’t get you a recovery, you pay nothing.

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