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Pregnancy discrimination is unlawful in the workplace

On Behalf of | Apr 3, 2024 | workplace discrimination

Working while you’re pregnant comes with many challenges, especially if your job involves a lot of standing, walking or manual labor. You may get tired more quickly, suffer from sore feet and just have severe exhaustion each day. It’s not uncommon to worry about not being able to complete your normal tasks due to your pregnancy. But one thing you should not have to worry about at work is being subjected to discrimination because you’re pregnant.

Pregnancy discrimination is illegal

According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, pregnancy is a protected condition. This means that employers are not allowed to discriminate based on a current pregnancy, past pregnancy, potential pregnancy or health condition related to pregnancy. The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act states that employers must provide accommodations for pregnant employees as needed. These accommodations may not be available under limited circumstances where they would cause undue hardship to the employer.

Accommodations may include flexible work hours, closer parking spaces and time off to recover from childbirth. During the workday, pregnant employees will be allowed to take additional breaks to eat, drink or use the restroom. Employers must provide appropriately sized uniforms and safety equipment when applicable. If your job involves strenuous activity, you can request to be excused from those tasks while pregnant.

The law prohibits these actions

An employer cannot refuse to hire an employee because of a pregnancy. Employers may not require you to accept an accommodation without discussing it with you first. Your employer cannot force you to take leave if there is a reasonable accommodation that would allow you to stay on the job. Your employer may not retaliate against you for opposing or reporting pregnancy-related discrimination.

There are two other pregnancy and childbirth regulations that you should be aware of so you’re able to protect yourself if certain issues arise. First, the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 provides you with unpaid time off from work after childbirth. Second, the PUMP Act increases protections for employees who need to express breast milk while on the job.

Legal advice after discrimination

Discrimination based on pregnancy is illegal. If you’ve been treated unfairly at your California workplace due to your pregnancy, you should be aware of your right to seek compensation. Facing discrimination at work can cause much stress in your life and may lead to you avoiding going to work, which can put your job in jeopardy. Discrimination can have an impact on your mental well-being and cause financial strain if you’re forced to take time away from work or quit your job. Compensation from a successful lawsuit against your employer can provide you with funds to cover your losses.