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Pregnancy Discrimination in the Workplace


Your pregnancy should be a beautiful time in your life. Your body is undergoing several changes all while you and your family begin planning for the next chapter of your lives. One change that shouldn't occur is how you're treated in the workplace. Unfortunately, we often hear of the horror stories that women suffer as soon as they go public with their pregnancy and even shortly after giving birth.

So what can you do if you're the victim of workplace pregnancy discrimination? First, know that is unlawful. If your place of work has 15 or more employees, it must abide by the federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA), which protects pregnant employees from being fired because of their pregnancy. Additionally, pregnant employees should not be let go when they are unable to perform tasks that they are physically incapable of doing. In these cases, medical documentation provided by your doctor will state what duties you should refrain from performing while pregnant.

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act at Play

Women in the workplace have endured a long and brutal battle for equal rights. While there are workplaces who have embraced pregnant women in the workplace, adding breast pumping rooms, implementing longer (paid) maternity leave, and in some cases even allowing mothers to bring their child to work, there are others who continue to discriminate against pregnant mothers.

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act amended Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, prohibiting sex discrimination on the basis of pregnancy. This included pregnancy, childbirth, medical conditions, and any related medical conditions. Since the act was amended, there have been several prominent cases that have shed light on the need for the act. One took place in California in 1987 when a receptionist at the California Federal Savings and Loan Association took pregnancy disability leave and returned to learn that her job was now being handled by someone else. The case ended with the court ruling that Garland should be given her job back.

Years later in 2010, Natasha Jackson who was at the time the only woman employee of Rent-A-Center had been given a note from her doctor that stated she was restricted from lifting more than 25 pounds. Her employer originally gave her a two-week paid leave but after learning of the doctor's note, told her that she couldn't return until after she gave birth. However, her employer went as far as informing her that upon returning, her job would not be a guarantee.

Working With an El Paso Workplace Discrimination Lawyer

There have been several other cases across the U.S. that have brought to light the harsh realities of workplace discrimination based on pregnancy and motherhood. As workplace discrimination lawyers, it is our duty to protect your rights. As soon as you begin noticing changes in how you are treated or feel victimized based on your pregnancy, contact our law firm. Your career and desire to be a mother should not suffer because of an employer discriminatory practices. We're here to help!

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