Pregnancy Discrimination Under Federal Title VII

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act was amended in 1978 to include the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (“PDA”).  The PDA protects pregnant persons from being discriminated against by their employers because of their pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions.

The Equal Benefits Clause of the PDA requires that persons affected by pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions be treated the same for employment purposes.  This protects employees or potential employees from discrimination in hiring, pregnancy or maternity leave, health insurance plans, and fringe benefits:
•    Hiring: it is a violation of the PDA to refuse to hire or to fire a person because that person is pregnant or has delivered a child. Further, aborting a pregnancy is considered a related medical condition and therefore falls within the purview of the PDA.  Accordingly, an employer may not refuse to hire or fire an employee for having procured an abortion.

•    Pregnancy/Maternity Leave: if a pregnant person is temporarily unable to perform their essential job duties because of their pregnancy or related medical conditions, that employee must be treated in the same manner as all other employees who suffer from a temporary disability. An employer must hold the employee’s position open for the same length of time for which the employer holds open jobs for employees on sick leave or disability leave. Further, if an employee claims that they are unable to work due to their pregnancy, the employer is prohibited from subjecting the employee to alternate or additional procedures to determine their capacity to work that exceed those to which employees that assert a temporary disability are subjected.

•    Health Insurance Plans: an employer is not obligated to offer pregnancy benefits.  If the employer does so, the plan must treat pregnancy, childbirth and related conditions in the same manner as all other conditions covered by the plan.  However, it is not sex discrimination where the employer does not provide health insurance that covers abortions except where the life of the pregnant person is endangered.  Additionally, the plan may not differentiate between married and unmarried pregnant employees.

•    Fringe Benefits: pregnancy-related benefits cannot be limited to married persons but must also be offered to unmarried persons. If the employer provides any benefits to workers on leave, the same benefits must be offered to those who take leave because of their pregnancy.

In addition, it is unlawful for an employer to retaliate against any employee – whether pregnant or non-pregnant – for opposing employment practices that discriminate on the basis of pregnancy.

Read more

wrongful termination attorney

Cheesecake Factory sued for firing worker in retaliation for discrimination complaint

A former Cheesecake Factory employee filed a wrongful termination and retaliation lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court against the popular restaurant chain. She was allegedly fired in retaliation for complaining about a…

READ ARTICLE
disability discrimination lawyer

LAPD officer wins $1 million in disability discrimination lawsuit

Just because an employee has a disability does not mean they must stop working. Under the law, employees with disabilities have a right to keep their jobs and seek damages against employers…

READ ARTICLE
wage violation lawyer

Sushi restaurant ordered to pay almost $30,000 in back wages to cooks

Employers looking to cut corners may sometimes think they can get away with not paying employees all the wages they have earned. Not only does such behavior result in employees missing out…

READ ARTICLE
wage theft lawyer

Senior care facility fined for wage theft after state investigation

Employees in certain industries are required to work overtime or be on call. Under California law, they must be paid for all time spent working beyond their regular hours. Employers are also…

READ ARTICLE
SEEN ON
bloomberg
sfgate
kpix
cnnmoney
marin-ij
dailypost
news10