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Pregnancy Discrimination Act: What You Should Know

Jan. 12, 2021

Pregnancy discrimination occurs when an employer treats a female applicant or employee unfavorably because they are pregnant. Pregnant women in Atlanta and across the U.S. are protected from discrimination because of an amendment to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 prohibits discrimination based on pregnancy. This Act applies to all areas of employment including hiring and firing, pay, promotions, lay-offs, and any other term or condition of employment.

Refusing to Hire Because of Pregnancy

A prospective employer cannot refuse to hire a person because they are pregnant. They also cannot refuse to hire a person because of a pregnancy-related condition.

Fired Because of Pregnancy

Under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, an employer cannot fire an employee because they are pregnant, intend to become pregnant, have a medical condition related to pregnancy or have had an abortion or are considering having an abortion.

Difficulty Doing a Job Because of Pregnancy

An employee may be eligible for an accommodation at their job if they need it to do their job safely. Accommodations may include permission to sit or stand, shift changes, ergonomic office furniture, altered break schedule, or permission to work from home. Many of these accommodations may be included in the Americans with Disabilities Act if a person has a pregnancy-related medical condition that would meet the definition of disability in the Act.

Contact an Employment Lawyer

If a person believes they have been unlawfully discriminated against because of their pregnancy, they may want to speak with a legal professional who is skilled in employment law. An attorney can investigate the circumstances surrounding the incident and help an employee understand what their legal options may be.