Pregnancy Discrimination Act and Abortion
The Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, prohibits employers from discriminating against employees because of pregnancy or related medical conditions.
This means that an employer must not treat pregnant employees differently from other employees with the same abilities and limitations.
Traditionally, courts have focused on pregnant employees, not employees who have had abortions.
Recently, some U.S. courts have found that this law applies to women who have had abortions. In these states, an employer may not fire or fail to hire an employee simply because she had an abortion. Abortion, according to these courts, is a “related medical condition” and is therefore covered.
As in all cases involving employment discrimination, the employee will have to show that the employer was motivated by the fact that she had an abortion, and not some other, legitimate factor, such as job performance. Once this is shown, the employer has a chance to prove that he or she had a legitimate business reason to fire the employee.
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Last Modified: 06-16-2009 03:37 PM PDT
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