The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) states that pregnancy-related discrimination like discriminating an employee or applicant based on her pregnancy condition, childbirth, or other associated medical conditions is illegal. The law comprises unlawful sex discrimination which covers employers with 15 or more employees including that of the state and local governments.
In the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, it is declared that pregnant employees should be treated similar with that of normal employees given that they can still do what other employees can do given particular conditions and limitations.
As PDA is enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), it is imperative for employers to act properly in accordance with the law. Otherwise, they are most likely to face a lawsuit for employment discrimination.
The following are the pregnancy-related protections stated in the Title VII.
- Hiring. Employers should not reject pregnant applicants because of her pregnancy and/or pregnancy-related condition..
- Pregnancy and Maternity Leave. A pregnant woman should be permitted to work as long as she is competent enough on doing her job. In the event that she is temporarily incapable of doing her job, she must be treated the way temporarily disabled employees are treated. Furthermore, if the employer needs the employee to present a doctor’s statement about the incapability to work before approving the leave, the employee must be able to present such document. Additionally, the employer must wait for the preference of the employee to come back to work, and not force her to get back to job.
- Health Insurance. The health insurance provider of the company the pregnant employee is working with should shoulder the expenses for pregnancy-related conditions on parallel basis as charges for other medical conditions. However, if the employee committed abortion, the employer is excused to provide health insurance excluding the instance where the life of the mother is endangered.