It is illegal under federal law to take adverse employment actions against an employee’s pregnancy. This is an amendment to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which states that employers cannot give pregnant employees worse working conditions or refuse to hire or fire employees because of their pregnancy.
Many employers are aware of this law and will not overtly discriminate against employees due to their pregnancies. Yet, under this law, employers are not required to provide pregnant employees with special treatment that is more favorable than other employees. Therefore, if all employees are being treated poorly and made to work in very hot or physically demanding conditions and the pregnant employees are not subject to any worse conditions than the rest of the employees, it may not be against the law to require pregnant employees to keep up with the work.
The Circumstances That Add Up to Discrimination
This determination of whether an employee was discriminated against based on her pregnancy can vary on the situation and should be analyzed by an attorney knowledgeable in employment discrimination. Some employers may feel as though they can ignore doctors’ notes that request light duty or frequent breaks for pregnant workers that work in physically demanding jobs, such as packing plants or very hot factories.
Recently, many women across the country have come forward because they suffered miscarriages at work after they were denied requested accommodations that were due to their pregnancies. Many of them are now pursuing legal remedies against employers who ignored their requests for desk duty or more frequent breaks to allow them time off their feet at work. Some women who worked 12-hour shifts simply requested shorter shifts so that they could still earn money to support their growing family while giving their bodies a break.
Other Federal Laws That Support Pregnant Women
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 also prohibits discrimination based on gender. If a worker feels as though she is being treated differently based on her gender, this could also be a reason to make a discrimination complaint against an employer. Employers who qualify under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) must also provide up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave under the FMLA when employees give birth. An employee who is about to give birth or who has just given birth may also qualify for state temporary disability benefits.
Montgomery County Pregnancy Discrimination Lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. Fight for Victims of Discrimination in the Workplace
Discrimination at work occurs in many different forms, including discrimination against pregnant women. Our Montgomery County pregnancy discrimination lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. can evaluate your situation and provide advice on what next steps are available. Call us today at 215-569-1999 or contact us online for a free case evaluation. Located in Philadelphia, we serve the surrounding areas, including Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, and Montgomery County.