Atlanta Pregnancy Discrimination Attorneys
Strong representation for expectant mothers in Georgia
Many people choose to live in the Atlanta metro area because the city and suburbs are great places to raise children. While many employers encourage their employees to start new families, many pregnant women face employment challenges. Some employers refuse to hire pregnant women. Some employers force pregnant women to choose between their job and their newborn. Many employers refuse to accommodate pregnant women and mothers who just gave birth.
Employers who discriminate against pregnant employees can be held accountable for discrimination. There are laws that make pregnancy discrimination illegal, provide for family leave to care for a child, and require that pregnant employees be treated fairly. At Buckley Bala Wilson Mew LLP, our Atlanta pregnancy discrimination attorneys handle all types of employment discrimination, including pregnancy discrimination. We also represent employees who are being harassed due to their pregnancy. We’ll assert your rights during your pregnancy and after your child is born.
This was my first time having to seek legal counsel on an employment issue so I was a bit nervous about the process. I was referred to Ed Buckley by a friend I respect and trust, and one that has over 20 years of experience in law. Mr. Buckley made the process much less intimidating for me. Many thanks to Mr. Buckley and team for helping me. I'd definitely hire them again. – Google review
How can we help?
- What is pregnancy discrimination?
- What laws protect pregnant employees in Atlanta?
- Am I required to tell my Atlanta employer I’m pregnant?
- What accommodations for my pregnancy should my Atlanta employer provide?
- What damages can I be awarded if my Atlanta employer discriminates because of my pregnancy?
- Do you have a pregnancy discrimination lawyer near me?
What is pregnancy discrimination?
Pregnancy discrimination is one type of sex discrimination. Pregnancy discrimination occurs if an employer refuses to hire you, fires you, denies your benefits, pays you less money, refuses to train you, gives you less favorable work assignments, or negatively affects your employment. Federal law requires that pregnant employees be treated based on their ability to do their job and not on their pregnancy. Pregnant employees in Georgia have the right to be treated by their employer as the employer would treat any other employee.
Pregnancy harassment is also a form of discrimination. Pregnancy harassment can include derogatory comments, upsetting images, social media posting, or other physical or emotional bullying or mistreatment. Examples include discussions about how pregnant women are unattractive or should stay home.
What laws protect pregnant employees in Atlanta?
The federal pregnancy discrimination laws include the following:
The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) was enacted in 1978 to clarify that the protection from sex discrimination by amending the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. It applies to discrimination based on pregnancy (current or past), childbirth, or related medication health conditions. The PDA provides that pregnant employees who are able to do their jobs must have permission to do those jobs based on the same conditions as other employees.
Pregnant women who cannot work due to medical reasons must be accorded the same rights, leave privileges, and benefits as other employees who are disabled or injured. For example, if an employer lets an employee who loads inventory onto shelves injures their back at work take a cashier’s job, the employer must give a pregnant woman who can’t lift inventory, the right to work as a cashier (or a similar job) too.
According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), pregnant women of color are especially prone to employer discrimination. EEOC complaints of pregnancy discrimination include termination, disparate conditions of employment, more scrutiny, harsher discipline, forced leave, and medical examinations that are not job-related.
The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA) became effective on June 27, 2023. The PWFA expands the rights of employees affected by pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical condition. Covered employers must provide reasonable accommodations to a requesting employee unless providing the accommodations will cause an undue hardship to the employer.
These laws should also protect you from being fired or other adverse employment conditions if you have a miscarriage.
Our Atlanta pregnancy discrimination attorneys understand the laws that protect pregnant employees, how you assert those laws in court, and what damages and remedies pregnant employees have.
Pregnancy and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) provides numerous protections, such as when and how employers can make medical inquiries. While pregnancy is not by itself a disability, some pregnant women may develop pregnancy related medical conditions, that can qualify as a disability.
This federal law gives employees who qualify the right to take unpaid leave for various reasons including to care for a new baby. Generally, the law applies to employers with 50 or more employees who have worked for their employer for 12 months or more.
Pregnancy discrimination and parental leave
Pregnancy discrimination is largely directed toward pregnant employees, it is not limited to pregnant people, nor to pregnancy alone. It also applies to parental leave. If your request for parental or family leave has been denied, either because your employer believes only women are entitled to a leave of absence from work to care for a new baby, or because of LGBTQ+ discrimination, you may have a legal claim. Multiple studies and reports have shown that children as well as parents benefit tremendously if there is time to bond immediately after the birth. If your company offers maternity leave but not paternity leave, refuses to provide paid leave for adoptions despite providing paid leave for biological births, or creates an environment where new parents are subjected to harassment, contact Buckley Bala Wilson Mew LLP. We may be able to help you.
Am I required to tell my Atlanta employer I’m pregnant?
While you do not have to inform your employer that you are pregnant, your employer may be accountable for violating any pregnancy laws if he/she knew or was made aware of your pregnancy and subjected you to discrimination. Often, our Atlanta pregnancy discrimination attorneys can show that your employer was indeed aware of a pregnancy through information provided by coworkers or because your pregnancy was enough months along to be obvious.
If you plan to take pregnancy leave based on the FMLA, you do need to inform your employer 30 days prior to taking the leave. The 30-day notice requirement doesn’t apply if you need to take the FMLA leave due to an emergency. You should obtain your employer’s written policy for pregnancy and maternity leave prior to the beginning of your leave of absence from work.
What accommodations for my pregnancy should my Atlanta employer provide?
Under the newly-effective Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA), covered employers must provide reasonable accommodations to a requesting employee unless providing the accommodations will cause an undue hardship to the employer.
The EEOC states that examples of possible reasonable accommodations include:
- Being assigned light-duty work
- The ability to sit or drink water
- Closer parking privileges
- Appropriately sized uniforms and safety gear
- Additional bathroom, eating, and rest time
- Leave to recover from childbirth
- Being excused from strenuous or dangerous activities
What damages can I be awarded if my Atlanta employer discriminates because of my pregnancy?
If you experience pregnancy discrimination at work, you must first file a charge of discrimination with the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (EEOC) within 180 days of the alleged unlawful practice. Our Atlanta age discrimination lawyers will guide through the EEOC’s investigative process and explain if other deadlines apply in your particular case. If your case is not resolved at the EEOC stage, you have the right to file a lawsuit in federal court upon receipt of a notice of right to sue from the EEOC.
We seek all the damages that the PDA and any other applicable pregnancy discrimination laws permit. These damages normally include:
- Lost income and benefits of employment
- Compensatory damages for emotional pain and suffering
- Legal fees and expenses
- Injunctive relief
In some cases, employees who suffer pregnancy discrimination may be entitled to punitive damages.
Do you have a pregnancy discrimination lawyer near me?
Our Atlanta pregnancy discrimination attorneys meet clients at our office in Atlanta located at 600 Peachtree St. NE, Suite 3900. We conduct phone and video consultations by appointment. We proudly serve clients throughout Georgia, including in Athens, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, and Savannah.
Your pregnancy should be a time of joy. You shouldn’t have to worry about how your employer will treat your pregnancy. Our seasoned employment discrimination lawyers have helped numerous employees fight back against pregnancy discrimination in the workplace.
Contact our Atlanta pregnancy discrimination attorneys today
At Buckley Bala Wilson Mew LLP, we support families. Many of us are parents ourselves, and we understand how stressful pregnancy and the postpartum period can be. Former clients, employers, and employment attorneys respect our dedication to our clients and our impressive record of success in all types of employee rights cases including pregnancy discrimination. To speak with our experienced Atlanta pregnancy discrimination lawyers, schedule a consultation by calling us or completing our contact form today.
Related on pregnancy discrimination in Atlanta: