Pregnancy discrimination in the workplace and in the hiring process is prohibited under state and federal laws. It is important for pregnancy women and their families to be familiar with protections against pregnancy discrimination and also for employers to understand how to prevent pregnancy discrimination in the workplace.
Pregnancy-related discrimination protections extend to both employees and job applicants. Protections for pregnant workers and job applicants include:
- Employers cannot refuse to hire a worker because of a pregnancy-related medical condition as long as the worker is able to perform the major functions of her job.
- Employers cannot refuse to hire a woman because of prejudices against pregnant workers or the prejudices of others.
- Employers cannot discrimination based on pregnancy when it comes to other aspects of employment including pay, promotions, job assignments, layoffs, training, fringe benefits, firing and any other term or condition of employment.
In addition, if the worker is temporarily unable to perform their job due to pregnancy or a pregnancy-related medical condition, the employer must treat the worker as any other temporarily disabled employee. In addition, pregnant employees must be allowed to work as long as they are allowed to perform the essential functions of their job.
Familiarity with employment law can help employees better protect themselves from things like pregnancy discrimination and help employers prevent discrimination in their workplaces. Pregnancy discrimination is a form of unlawful sexual discrimination which is why it is important to treat pregnant workers and pregnant job applicants as any other employee or applicant for a job.