Pregnancy discrimination is considered a form of gender discrimination and everyone may not be aware that it is prohibited. Pregnancy discrimination is prohibited in the workplace but is also prohibited in the hiring process. Pregnant workers and workers considering becoming pregnant should know how they are protected.
Protections for pregnant workers
One of the most important protections protecting pregnant workers is that they cannot be denied any terms, conditions or privileges of employment because of a pregnancy, childbirth or related medical condition. This protection also applies to applicants for an open position.
In the workplace, an employer is required to allow the pregnant employee to work for as long as she is able to perform the requirements of the job. Once the employee goes on maternity leave, the employee’s position must be held open as it would for any other employee on medical leave or disability leave. This also applies to any accommodations the employee may need.
Employers are also not allowed to terminate, deny assignments to or deny a promotion to an employee because of her pregnancy, childbirth or related medical condition. Employers should also not stereotype the employee because of her pregnancy and are prohibited from retaliating against the employee if they report pregnancy discrimination in the workplace.
Pregnancy discrimination can be a serious violation of the rights of the employee or job applicant. For that reason, both employees and employers should be aware of what should, and should not, happen in the workplace related to pregnancy and pregnancy discrimination and the different employment law protections in place.