According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, pregnancy discrimination involves “involves treating a woman (an applicant or employee) unfavorably because of pregnancy, childbirth, or a medical condition related to pregnancy or childbirth. If you’ve been discriminated against for one of these reasons, it may make sense for you to get in touch with a pregnancy discrimination attorney in Glendale as soon as possible.
What is Pregnancy Discrimination?
The Pregnancy Discrimination Act, a federal law, forbids pregnancy discrimination when it’s related to any aspect of employment, such as:
- Job assignments
- Fringe benefits (such as health insurance and leave)
- Any other term or condition of employment
Treating Pregnancy as a Temporary Disability
If you’re temporarily unable to perform your job because you have a medical condition related to pregnancy or childbirth, the law says that your employer has to treat you the same way it would treat another temporarily disabled employee. That can include light duty, disability leave, unpaid leave, or even an alternative assignment.
Combining the Pregnancy Discrimination Act and the Americans With Disabilities Act
Some conditions that result from pregnancy, such as gestational diabetes or preeclampsia, might be considered disabilities under the Americans With Disabilities Act. That means your employer might have to provide reasonable accommodations for pregnancy-related disabilities (as long as they don’t cause your employer “significant difficulty or expense”).
If your employer lets temporarily disabled employees to take either disability leave or leave without pay, it must let you do the same when you’re temporarily disabled by pregnancy. You may have to submit a doctor’s note, though.
Under the Family and Medical Leave Act, you could also be entitled to take up to 12 weeks of leave (either paid or unpaid, depending on your employer’s policy and what you’ve earned in leave up to that point).
Pregnancy Discrimination and Harassment
It’s against the law to harass someone because she’s pregnant or because of childbirth, or because she has or had a medical condition related to pregnancy or childbirth.
The same general principles that apply to workplace harassment apply to pregnancy harassment; it’s illegal when the harassment is so frequent or pervasive that it creates a hostile (or offensive) work environment, or when it results in an adverse employment decision (like resulting in the employee being demoted or fired).
Other Laws in Place to Protect Nursing Mothers
Employers have to provide “reasonable break time for an employee to express breast milk for her nursing child for one year after the child’s birth each time such employee has need to express the milk,” according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
The location the employer provides for nursing mothers can’t be a bathroom—the location has to be “functional as a space for expressing breast milk.” It has to be shielded from view and free from intrusion by coworkers and the public.
Do You Need to Talk to a Glendale Pregnancy Discrimination Lawyer?
If you think you were discriminated against because of your pregnancy or a related condition, we may be able to help you.
Call us at 818-659-8324 or toll-free at 800-774-4163. We’ll evaluate your case and give you the legal advice you need to begin moving forward.