Pregnant women are protected from pregnancy discrimination in the hiring process and are also protected against pregnancy discrimination as employees in the workplace. Pregnancy discrimination is a form of gender discrimination and is prohibited. Pregnant employees should know how to protect themselves from pregnancy discrimination if they find themselves facing it.
Pregnancy discrimination prohibitions
It is illegal for employers to take pregnancy in account when considering hiring an employee, firing and employee or when deciding whether or not to give a particular employee a promotion. Pregnant employees must receive the same accommodations and protections as other employees with similar medical conditions or disabilities and with a similar ability or inability to perform their job.
Under federal law, employers with greater than 15 employees are prohibited from discriminating against a pregnant employee in the hiring and firing processes and in terms of pay, job assignments, promotions, training, benefits, health insurance and leave. These rules apply to pregnant women, women who may become pregnant and women with a pregnancy-related or childbirth-related medical condition.
In many situations pregnant women do not know their rights or do not know how to assert them. If women are unfamiliar with how employment laws against pregnancy discrimination protect them, they will be unable to seek enforcement of those rights to ensure they are not discriminated against in the workplace. Federal, and some state, laws provide important protections against employment discrimination for pregnant workers and workers with a pregnancy-related medical condition that pregnant workers and their families should know about.