It is important that pregnant women and women considering becoming pregnant are not discriminated against in their workplaces. For that reason, legal protections are in place to ensure they are not the victims of pregnancy discrimination that they should be familiar with.
Pregnancy discrimination protections for pregnant workers
There are a variety of actions that employers cannot take against a pregnant employee or employee who has a medical condition related to pregnancy or childbirth. These protections apply to pregnant employees and applicants for employment as well. In general, employers are prohibited from refusing to hire or promote pregnant employees because of their pregnancy or a pregnancy-related medical condition. They are also prohibited from firing an employee for the same reason.
During the interview process, employers cannot ask questions of pregnant applicants they would not ask non-pregnant applicants. In addition, employers are prohibited from discriminating against employees who may become pregnant. In most circumstances, employers cannot require notice of pregnancy and must allow a pregnant employee to continue to work as long as the employee is able to perform the functions of the job.
It is also important to note that an employer is required to hold open a job for a pregnancy-related absence for the same length of time they would hold open a position for an employee who was on sick or disability leave. Pregnancy discrimination is a form of gender discrimination and is prohibited in the workplace.
For pregnant employees, and employees who are considering becoming pregnant, understanding these important rights can be key to keeping their jobs and maintaining their seniority in the workplace. Pregnant workers should be in a position to enforce these protections which is why it is essential to know about the employment laws protecting them and to understand them.