Pregnancy Discrimination FAQ

August 29, 2017
The Law Firm of J.W. Stafford

Pregnancy can be an exciting yet anxiety-inducing experience. When a woman is expecting a child, there are many things that must be done to properly prepare for the new baby. From buying a crib to prenatal appointments, there is a lot to think about. Worrying about your job security as a result of pregnancy discrimination is an unneeded stress for pregnant women to endure.

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) was an amendment to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This Act prohibits discrimination based on pregnancy, childbirth or other related medical conditions. This type of discrimination is considered to be unlawful sex discrimination.

Can an Interviewer Ask if I Am Pregnant or if I Intend to Become Pregnant?

You are under no obligation to reveal to your potential or current employer that you are pregnant or have plans to become pregnant or have children in the future. An employer cannot legally refuse to hire you because of pregnancy, as long as you are able to perform the job requirements.

Some religious or youth organizations may not allow unmarried women to work for them because of their moral code. However, these organizations must show that they would treat men who are having sex outside of marriage the same way. If you work for a religious organization, it’s important to know your rights and risks, so contacting an attorney for a consultation may be a good idea.

Is Maternity Leave Covered Under the PDA?

The PDA requires that employees who are temporarily disabled due to pregnancy and childbirth (what most of us would call the need for maternity leave) are allowed to take any available disability leave or unpaid leave that would be available to any other employee. Employers are also required to hold a job for the employee who takes pregnancy or childbirth related leave for the same amount of time that they would hold the job for anyone else under company policy.

The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) may allow new parents (including foster or adoptive parents) to receive up to 12 weeks of leave.  Leave may be unpaid, or paid if the worker has accrued paid leave at work. The FMLA requires that an employee have worked for 12 months prior to taking the leave. The FMLA also only applies to employers who have a certain number of employees. If you have questions about PDA or the FMLA requirements for your employer, contact a Baltimore pregnancy discrimination attorney today.

What if My Doctor Puts Me on Bedrest?

Under the PDA, if a woman is temporarily disabled as a result of her pregnancy or childbirth, her employer must make the same sort of reasonable accommodations they would make for any other employee with a temporary disability. For pregnant women, this might include alternative work assignments, paid disability or sick leave, or unpaid leave. Some pregnancy related disabilities and conditions are also covered under the Americans with Disabilities act (ADA). If your employer threatens to terminate you because of your doctor’s orders to bed rest or have accommodations, then it is crucial to contact a qualified Maryland employment attorney.

Your desire to have a family should not put your job security in jeopardy If you have questions about pregnancy and your rights on the job, contact an experienced Baltimore pregnancy discrimination lawyer at The Law Firm of J.W. Stafford or call us at 410-514-6099.  We are here to protect your rights.