Friday, September 27, 2013

About Pregnancy Discrimination According to the EEOC

Discrimination on the basis of sex is prohibited under the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. This form of workplace bias does not only include harassment towards the opposite or same sex and discrepancy in terms of pay and compensation for both sexes, but also include pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions.


As it is, pregnancy discrimination in employment involves treating a female applicant or employee unfavorably because of her pregnancy, childbirth or related medical condition. Since it is considered sex discrimination, pregnant employees and applicants are protected under Title VII via the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA), a law amending the said federal law.

Basically, the PDA does not allow covered employers with 15 or more employees to discriminate a female applicant or employee based on her pregnancy in any aspect of employment, from hiring, termination, pay and compensation, fringe benefits (e.g. leave, health insurance), to any term or condition of employment.

Having a medical condition related to pregnancy or childbirth could result to an employee not being able to continue her job. If this is so, her employer must treat her the same way as an employee with a temporary disability. Providing reasonable accommodations (e.g. lighter job duties, alternative job assignments) and pregnancy and maternity leave can be provided to the pregnant employee.

Also, harassing an employee or applicant because of her pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical condition is likewise not allowed under the PDA. It is considered illegal if the harassment is frequent and causes a hostile work environment that may result in an adverse employment action, such as termination, demotion, or deprivation of employment privileges.

Covered employers of the PDA that allow employees with temporary disabilities to take a leave must also do the same to employees with pregnancy- or childbirth-related disabilities. Incidentally, the Family and Leave Act (FMLA) allows new parents, including foster and adoptive parents, to be eligible for up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave (unless the employee has earned it) in order for them to take care of their newborn.

Meanwhile, if you are an employee and you have been discriminated against, say, fired, by your employer because of your pregnancy, then it is best that you consult with a Los Angeles wrongful termination lawyer. It may also help if you file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

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