You have protections against discrimination.
You have protections against discrimination based on pregnancy, childbirth, or a medical condition related to pregnancy or childbirth. Pregnancy discrimination may also occur when an employer has policies or practices that exclude individuals from particular jobs because they could become pregnant. There are certain protections available if you become pregnant, give birth, or have a medical condition related to pregnancy or childbirth. If you are temporarily unable to perform your job due to a medical condition related to pregnancy or childbirth, your employer must treat you in the same way other temporarily disabled workers would be treated.
Employment discrimination may also occur when an employer’s seemingly fair policies or practices have a significant negative impact on individuals affected by pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions without demonstrating the policies or practices are job-related and consistent with business necessity. And discrimination can also occur when you and the person who discriminated against you share a protected characteristic.
Conditions resulting from pregnancy may be considered disabilities, and in such a case, your employer may have to provide you with reasonable accommodations.
We’re here to help.
We are committed to helping you understand your rights as a worker. Many questions about your rights may be answered by using the following elaws (Employment Laws Assistance for Workers and Small Businesses) Advisors:
For additional assistance, please contact:
elaws Pay and Benefits Advisors
EEOC Guidance on Pregnancy Discrimination
EEOC Facts About Pregnancy Discrimination
EEOC Information on Legal Rights for Pregnant Workers Under Federal Law
OFCCP Fact Sheet: Pregnancy and Childbearing Discrimination
Employment Protections for Workers Who are Pregnant or Nursing
What to Expect at Work When You’re Expecting
Wage and Hour Division Fact Sheet: Break Time for Nursing Mothers under the FLSA
Federal law may allow you up to 12 weeks of leave to care for a new child, if you are eligible and your employer is covered under the FMLA. Additionally, some state laws may offer job protection or leave benefits for new parents. To find out more, contact your state agency or your employer’s Human Resource office.
You have the right to file a complaint or a Charge of Discrimination, participate in an employment discrimination investigation or lawsuit, engage in any protected equal employment opportunity (EEO) activity, or oppose harassment or discrimination without being retaliated against by your employer.
You generally have a right to protection from discrimination regardless of your immigration status, although, in some cases, immigration status may limit the remedies that you’ll be able to obtain.
What this means for you
Employers are not allowed to discriminate against you because:
- you are pregnant,
- you were pregnant,
- you could become pregnant, or intend to become pregnant, or
- you have a medical condition that is related to pregnancy.
Examples of discrimination
In general, this means that you cannot be:
- rejected for a job or promotion,
- given lesser assignments,
- forced to take leave, or
- otherwise disciplined
because of a pregnancy.