Pregnancy discrimination is a form of gender discrimination and occurs when a pregnant female employee is treated less advantageously than a male or non-pregnant female employee because of her pregnancy, childbirth, or a medical condition relating to pregnancy. Pregnancy discrimination can also occur when an applicant is denied a position because she is pregnant.
In 1978, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was amended to include The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) to combat discrimination against pregnant women. The law requires that pregnant workers be treated the same as other employees “similar in their ability or inability to work.” This includes treating pregnant women who are temporarily unable to work due to pregnancy, or who request a reasonable accommodation such as light duty, the same as other temporarily disabled workers.
In addition to the PDA, pregnant employees may have rights under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) when medical complications arise which may be disabilities under the ADA. For example, if a pregnant employee develops gestational diabetes or preeclampsia, that employee may need and qualify for a reasonable accommodation by her employer to enable her to continue to perform the essential functions of her job.
Finally, pregnant workers may have additional rights under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). The FMLA requires employers with 50 or more employees within a 75-mile radius of the employee’s workplace to provide up to 12 weeks of leave for an employee who has worked at least 1250 hours in the prior year due to the employee’s serious health condition.
Currently, both Philadelphia and New Jersey have separate laws to protect pregnant women. While Pennsylvania does not have a separate state law that specifically addresses pregnancy, pregnant employees can still bring a gender claim for discriminatory treatment due to pregnancy under the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act.
The Ezold Law Firm Represents Victims of Pregnancy Discrimination
If you believe that you may have been a victim of pregnancy discrimination, our pregnancy discrimination lawyers in Philadelphia can help. Complete our online contact form or call Ezold Law today at (610) 660-5585.