Maintaining a work-life throughout pregnancy can present many challenges for a woman from morning sickness to back pain to frequent doctor’s appointments. Missing hours at work may leave you concerned over your job’s safety. There are some rights to which you would be entitled.
The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978, which amended Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. 2000e et seq., prohibits discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. It makes employers that have at least 15 employees vulnerable for treating an applicant or employee unfavorably in any aspect of employment whether it’s hiring, job assignments, pay, promotions, layoffs, firing, training, fringe benefits, or any other term or condition of employment. This Act does not grant you special rights or guarantee that you will be treated better now that you are carrying a child, although you may feel you deserve to be. The Act makes the employer liable if an employer fires you (or chooses not to hire you) simply for being pregnant, provided that you are capable of performing your job duties
Your employer may not treat you differently from other employees now that you are pregnant, or if they know you’re trying to get pregnant. The Supreme Court has decided that your employer may not put a “significant burden” on pregnant employees. What does that mean exactly? You would begin by determining how they have treated employees with disabilities in the past. Did your employer previously provide accommodations to non-pregnant employees? Did they give employees with injuries a lighter workload while forcing pregnant women to take unpaid leave? This may be evidence of pregnancy discrimination.