Pregnancy Discrimination Lawsuit

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 (PDA), which is the amendment Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, renders it illegal for an employer to discriminate against an employee on the stance of childbirth, pregnancy, or related gestation related medical conditions.

Protection from Pregnancy Discrimination

Protections provided by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act include:

  • Hiring - Employers are legally bound to not refuse to hire a pregnant woman because of her pregnancy, because of a pregnancy-related issues or because of the dislike of clients, co-workers, or customers.
  • Maternity and Pregnancy Leave - An employer cannot specify pregnancy-related issues for unique procedures to establish the pregnant employee’s ability to perform work.  The employer, however, may and can require employees affected by maternity issues to submit doctor documentation before allowing leave or paying benefits.  In the event the employees are unable to perform their specified job tasks due to pregnancy, an employer is required to treat her in a similar manner to any other temporarily disabled worker.
  • Health Insurance - Health insurance offered by employers is required to cover all costs for maternity related conditions in the same manner as insurance costs for all other medical issues.  In concerns to the issue of abortions, coverage is not required unless the life of the mother is in grave danger.  
  • Fringe Benefits - Benefits owed by a company to an employee may not discriminate based on the marital status of the woman.  If benefits are allowed for other medical conditions arising, then they must likewise be available to cover pregnancy related costs.

Pregnancy Discrimination Complaints by Numbers

In 2005, EEOC received 4,449 charges of pregnancy-based discrimination.  Of those charges, EEOC resolved 4,321 pregnancy discrimination charges and recovered $11.6 million in owed benefits for charging parties and other aggrieved individuals (not including monetary benefits obtained through litigation).

Many laws have been passed protecting pregnant women against discrimination in the workforce.  If you or someone you know have been denied a job opportunity or fired from their job due to pregnancy, you may have a case for pregnancy discrimination and may be eligible for compensation.

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