As the Supreme Court considers whether employers must accommodate pregnant women in certain situations, many women across the country still face discriminatory actions on account of their pregnancy. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions. Although this doesn’t mean that pregnant women are entitled to special treatment, it does mean that pregnant women must be treated equally to non-pregnant individuals. For example, if your company gives extra leaves of absence to employees with medical conditions, they must extend this practice to pregnant women.
Federal and state agencies still receive numerous complaints each year about pregnancy discrimination. In fact, the EEOC received more than 3,000 pregnancy discrimination complaints in 2014. A representative of the EEOC noted, “People do assume that times have changed and that people behave well… That’s simply not the experience of a lot of people in the workplace.”
An example of this is a recently filed EEOC lawsuit on behalf of a woman who was offered a job, which the business then rescinded after finding out she had recently given birth and undergone surgery.
Currently, employers may legally only take into account a woman’s ability to get the job done and not weigh the risks to the woman or make assumptions based on her pregnancy. It’s up to the worker to decide that for herself. However, this thorny issue may get some guidance from the Supreme Court, which is set to decide Young v. United Parcel Service. Young raises the question of whether employers must provide workplace accommodations for pregnant workers.
If you believe you have suffered any form of pregnancy discrimination, it is crucial to contact an experienced Atlanta sex discrimination lawyer at the Buckley Bala Wilson Mew LLP for an immediate case evaluation.