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Your Rights Under The Pregnancy Discrimination Act

Employers are prohibited under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) from discriminating against employees due to their pregnancy. The PDA also prohibits employers from discriminating against women due to the childbirth or any medical condition associated with the pregnancy or childbirth.

The PDA is aimed at protecting employees against employers’ misconceptions about pregnancy. At times, employers hesitate to hire or promote women because they believe women will want to work less once they have children or quit work altogether. Employers also hesitate to hire women because they believe that their business cannot accommodate the women’s need for time off due to the pregnancy.

The PDA demands that employers make decisions based upon actual circumstances, not generalizations and misconceptions. Employers will be held liable if they base employment decisions on what they believe will happen in the future, rather than actual events.

The PDA Bans These Actions

When employers do engage in pregnancy discrimination, they usually do so in subtle ways. Evidence of pregnancy discrimination in the workplace may include:

  • Employer chooses a less-qualified, nonpregnant employee for a position or promotion.
  • Employer generally treats pregnant employees less favorably, such as lower pay, less desirable job assignments, lower performance evaluations, not providing accommodations provided to nonpregnant employees, etc.
  • Managers or supervisors make pregnancy-related remarks.
  • A lack of factual evidence to support the employer’s decision (e.g., hiring, promoting, terminating, pay) involving a pregnant applicant or employee.

The law provides pregnant employees with some additional workplace benefits. Under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), qualified women can receive up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave to care for their newborn child.

In addition, under the Americans with Disabilities Act, employers must provide accommodations to women whose pregnancy-related medical conditions (e.g., gestational diabetes, preeclampsia) meet the definition of “disability” under the ADA. Time off work is a common type of reasonable accommodation.

Get The Accommodation And Protections You Deserve

If you have been denied your rights under PDA, FMLA, ADA and/or Ohio law due to your pregnancy, contact us today at 513-834-8254 for a free consultation to discuss your right to recovery. You can also reach us online.