In Vitro Fertilization Discrimination

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What Is In Virto Fertilization?

In Virto Fertilization is fertilization of the egg outside the woman’s body. The egg is fertilized by sperm and then inserted into the woman’s body, where the egg will grow into an infant, like a normal pregnancy.

In Virto Fertilization faces opposition from some religious groups, who sometime allege that women who choose to use In Virto Fertilization are infertile and/or lesbians.

What Is Pregnancy Discrimination?

Under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, and most state laws, it is illegal for employers to discriminate in hiring, promotion, discipline, and termination based on pregnancy.

If an employee is temporarily unable to do her job because of pregnancy, employers must make the same accommodations they would make for any other temporarily disabled employee, including reasonable time off, or temporary reassignment.

Does Pregnancy Discrimination Cover Virto Fertilization?

These laws also include accommodations for pregnancy-related medical procedures. Federal courts have recently held that an employer may not act against an employee who has an in vitro fertilization performed. The law also prevents an employer from firing an employee for having an abortion.

Is Virto Fertilization Protected By Other Laws?

Discrimination based on these factors may also be covered by laws against sex discrimination. In some cases, age discrimination may also apply.

Women in a homosexual relationship can be protected by state discrimination laws if they are in a state which provides such protection, but federal law currently excludes sexual orientation as a protected class.

Does An Employer Have Any Defenses?

In Vitro Fertilization is subject to the same laws as pregnancy discrimination, so many of the same defenses will apply. This includes the “causation” requirement: the employee has to prove that the employer took adverse action against the employee because she is pregnant, not because of other reasons.

Due to religious opposition to In Virto Fertilization, employers who are religious groups can assert that they are exempt from discrimination laws because of the religious exemption clauses built into those discrimination laws. The religious employer can also say that the First Amendment prohibits government interference. 

Do I Need a Lawyer?

An experienced attorney in employment discrimination can be extremely valuable in assisting any female employee in pregnancy discrimination issues, or in filing any other claims that In Virto Fertilization discrimination might require.  

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Last Modified: 05-15-2013 02:17 PM PDT

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