Out of the 68 million female workers who’re working in the U.S, about 75% of them will get pregnant sometime in their lives, to some employers they believe this is a big threat to them and tend to discriminate pregnant women or women that have some pregnancy related health problem. In order to prevent discrimination against women, the PDA (pregnancy discrimination Act) was enacted back 1978, the PDA have played a vital role when it comes to protecting women again pregnancy discrimination act, but despite all these lawsuits that are present to protect women, most pregnant women still face discrimination in the workplace.
The PDA has been around for more than 30 years but still pregnant women face unfair treatment from their employers. Research shows that 76% of employer won’t employ any woman that wants to be pregnant in the next 6 months; another research shows that a woman that appeared pregnant while seeking for job will often get rejected.
There is of course a law that protects pregnant women again discrimination, this falls under the civil act of 1964 which is categorized under title VII, the pregnancy discrimination falls under this act. Any discrimination that concern childbirth, pregnancy or any health related condition related to child birth is termed as unlawful sex discrimination. Pregnant women have to be treated equally like every other employee whether they have similar ability or not.
Hiring Conditions For Pregnant Women
No employer should deny a pregnant woman job offer due to her pregnancy condition provided she can perform the basic function of the specified job that’s expected from her. The PDA also prohibits employers from denying pregnant employees any employment benefits such promotions, training, job assignments or altering any condition of employment due a woman’s pregnancy.
Pregnancy & Maternity Leave
Pregnant women can work for as long as they can without the employer forcing them to leave, if an employee isn’t attending the workplace due to the pregnancy condition she can stay on a leave until she recovers and the employer cannot force her to stay on a leave until birth. The employer cannot also prevent the employee from coming back to work after giving birth.
The PDA states that employers that allow their employees to take a leave due to temporary disability which affects the employee’s working abilities, must also give a pregnant woman the same freedom. This shows that pregnant women have to be treated just like other employees who’re facing temporary illness and can take short break from work so that they can recover.
Another act that also protect women from discrimination is the FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act). This act also allow women who just give birth to take up to 12 weeks of leave, this can be either paid or unpaid depending on whether the employee is qualified or not. But in order to be qualified for this rule, the employees has to work for at least 12 months for the employer prior to getting the leave and the employer should have certain number of employees.
Temporary Disability And Pregnancy, Are They Equal?
Pregnant women and employees with temporary disability are treated the same, they’re entitled to getting modified tasks from the employer, alternative assignments, giving the employee light duty and disability leave.
If an employer is providing health insurance to his workers, pregnant women expenses also must be covered just like other health related conditions. But medical expenses that are linked to abortion aren’t needed unless the abortion is necessary, staying with the baby has proven to endanger the woman’s life and it’s suggested by a professional medical worker, in this case the insurance provided by the employer should also cover this.
If any employer have the policy of offering benefits to employees who’re on a leave, then he as to offer the same benefits to pregnant women who’re on a leave due to their pregnancy or child birth condition. This shows that every woman is entitled to all employment benefits whether she’s on leave or not. There are many laws that govern the rights of pregnant women in the workplace, every pregnant woman should know her rights in the working place and if her rights have been violated there is the need to take action against the employer.
If you’re pregnant and you need some help regarding your workplace give us a call now at Massey & Duffy for free consultation, we’re available to answer all your questions.