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More information on pregnancy discrimination

On Behalf of | Jul 6, 2022 | Firm News

Readers of our blog are very familiar with employment law, especially discrimination and wrongful termination. One of the lesser talked about discrimination cases is based on pregnancy. As such, a prior post discussed some common forms of illegal pregnancy discrimination. And, in this blog post, we explore more information on pregnancy discrimination.

Even discrimination based on prior pregnancy is illegal

No negative employment actions are legal, if they are based on your prior pregnancy, the childbirth itself or any pregnancy-related medical condition. The most common version of this discrimination is firing a Sherwood, Oregon, employee immediately after the employee returns from any pregnancy-related leave, or shortly after they return.

The time proximity of the leave, return and negative employee action creates a perceived discriminatory basis for the negative employment action. This is even if the termination is based on some performance-related reason. If they just got back from leave, how can they immediately have performance problems? This is even true if the worker had productivity issues prior to taking leave. The presumption is against the employer.


Lactation and breastfeeding are pregnancy-related medical conditions, and as such, no negative employment actions can be taken against a Sherwood, Oregon, employee based on them. This means treating that employee like other workers with similarly limiting medical conditions. For example, if your employer allows schedule changes for sick leave and routine doctor’s appointments, they must allow lactating employees to change their schedule or use sick leave for their lactation-related needs.

Proactive breastfeeding requirements

Sherwood, Oregon, employers also have proactive requirements for their breastfeeding employees. You must be given reasonable break times to breastfeed or pump. You also must be given a private place to breastfeed or pump. In fact, this is such a problem that the Department of Labor published a breastfeeding Fact Sheet to ensure that employers know about these requirements.