Pregnancy Discrimination in the Workplace
Over recent decades, many protections have been granted to special groups to ensure a discrimination-free working environment. Of these, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) specifically protects pregnant people from unlawful sex discrimination in the workplace. According to the measure, pregnant employees are protected from illegal business practices, such as being forced to take mandatory maternity leave, being overlooked in the hiring process on the basis of pregnancy, and having company-wide insurance benefits refused. These protections ensure that an employer can’t treat an employee differently because of their pregnancy, or based on preconceived notions of how well a pregnant employee can perform.
Along the same vein, a pregnant employee (or employee recovering from childbirth, miscarriage, abortion, or other medical condition) who needs to take time off work is entitled to the same treatment as any other employee on temporary disability. This means that if the company policy is to extend full benefits and seniority rights to temporarily disabled workers once they return from leave, the same rights must be allotted to pregnant employees. While these legal protections have long been in place, there are still employers that violate the rights afforded by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act and promote an unsafe working environment for pregnant employees. At The Melton Law Firm, our Austin discrimination attorneys can help defend your rights in a court of law if you are being illegally discriminated against on the basis of your pregnancy.
Types of Pregnancy Discrimination
Discrimination comes in many forms. While it may be seen as blatant hostility, discrimination can also be masked as assumptions about whether or not you’ll be able to perform your job. According to PDA, an employer cannot be discriminatory in arenas pertaining to:
- Hiring and Promotion
- Forced Leave
- Insurance Discrimination
As such, an employer cannot force you to take maternity leave, prevent you from being promoted or hired, or make any other job decision on the basis of your pregnancy rather than your ability to perform your duties.
Contact a Discrimination Lawyer in Austin
Being unfairly subjected to sex discrimination is an upsetting and painful experience. At The Melton Law Firm, our impassioned discrimination attorneys believe the workplace should be a safe space for all employees. If you have experienced discrimination on the basis of your sex or pregnancy, our legal team is ready to defend your fundamental human rights. Don’t hesitate to contact our Austin offices at (512) 330-0017 for effective representation in your case.