Treating a pregnant woman, whether she is an employee or a job applicant, unfavorably because of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions is against the law. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) states that such discrimination constitutes unlawful sex discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
The employer must treat the pregnant woman the same way they treat other employees who are temporarily disabled. Additionally, physical impairments that result from being pregnant may qualify as disabilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the employer may have to provide reasonable accommodations for such disabilities.
Under PDA, if temporarily disabled employees are allowed to take disability leave then they must offer the same opportunity to an employee who is temporarily disabled due to pregnancy.
California Labor Code states that every employer “shall provide a reasonable amount of break time to accommodate an employee desiring to express breast milk for the employee’s infant child.” Under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), an employee cannot discriminate against a female employee on the bases of breastfeeding or medical conditions related to breastfeeding.
Several State and Federal Laws come into place regarding pregnancy, maternity and parental leave:
To help prove your case, it is important you document the discrimination (i.e save emails, memos, text messages, etc) and that you follow the reporting system within your company to report the illegal conduct. Of course there will be times when this is not possible, but remember the more evidence you have, the more it will help your case!
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