In 1978, the federal government passed the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. This law made it illegal for women to be discriminated against for being pregnant or for suffering from pregnancy or childbirth-related medical conditions. In the workplace, women who suffer from certain pregnancy-related conditions can receive protections under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
However, women all across the nation and right here in California are subject to pregnancy-related discrimination each and every day. While their employers may provide other employees with temporary reassignments when they recuperate from injuries, illnesses or other medical issues, pregnant women are often expected to do work that may be unsafe for their changing bodies without support or assistance from their employers.
Pregnancy discrimination exists in all fields of employment but impacts women in lower wage positions more frequently than other women who earn higher salaries. It is a specialized form of discrimination against women and may be used by employers to force women out of jobs that they did not want to hire in the first place.
What an employer must do to avoid discriminating against a pregnant woman can vary greatly depending upon the laws of the state where woman lives. For this reason, it is important that women who believe that they are being discriminated against because of their pregnancies seek legal assistance as soon as possible. An employment law or discrimination attorney can provide their pregnant client with the most accurate and relevant information regarding state and federal law that may apply to their case. Pregnancy discrimination is a real problem and should not be tolerated by expectant mothers who need their jobs to care for their families.
Source: cnn.com, "Fired for being pregnant: Another kind of discrimination women face at work," Elissa Strauss, Feb. 1, 2018