Pregnancy Discrimination Act Lawyers
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What Is the Pregnancy Discrimination Act?
Employers with 15 or more individuals are subject to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In addition, the act provides protection for women who are pregnant from any type of discrimination. In addition, Title VII applies to state and local governments and labor organizations.
Under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, an employer cannot discriminate against an employee or prospective employee solely on the fact that they are pregnant. Examples of pregnancy discrimination include:
- An employer refusing to hire an employee because they are pregnant
- Firing, demoting, refusing to promote an pregnant employee
- Decreasing a pregnant employee’s hours or assignments because they are pregnant
- Inappropriate comments or conduct about the employee’s pregnancy
- Discipline in response to request to leave for pregnancy-related medical reasons
Can I Be Fired If My Pregnancy Prevents Me From Doing My Job?An employer must treat pregnant employees the same as any temporary disabled employee and cannot terminate a pregnant employee because they are unable to perform work functions because of a pregnancy-related medical condition. An employer must accomodate all employees who are temporarily disabled because of their pregnancy by permitting them to change their work duties in order to cope to the disability.
If your employer requires other employees to submit a doctor’s note concerning their inability to perform work functions before they can take time off, the employer may require pregnant employees to provide a doctor’s note as well.
Do Fathers Have Rights under the Act?Fathers also have rights under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. An employer must treat all employees with children the same way they would treat fathers without children and cannot discriminate them because they require maternity leave. Male employees who are new fathers have rights under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which provides them up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave to take care of their newborn.
What about Customer Preference?
An employer may not discriminate against pregnant women based on customer preference. Customers that wish to have pregnant women terminated because of their abilities do not have any authority to exert influence over employers.
What Should I Do If There Is Discrimination?
A pregnant employee that has been discriminated against have several options available. These include:
- Filing a charge of discrimination with the EEOC
- Charges should be filed within 180 days of the alleged discrimination
- In addition, the EEOC has a toll free hotline at 1-800-669-4000 that allows individuals that do not have an EEOC office nearby to request assistance.
Should I Consult an Attorney?
An employment lawyer can be extremely valuable in assisting any female employee in pregnancy discrimination issues. The filing of an employment discrimination complaint and gathering of relevant evidence requires an attorney with knowledge of employment law. In addition, an experienced attorney can help to guide employees in any settlement arrangements.
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Last Modified: 11-24-2014 01:38 PM PST
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