When you are expecting a child, it can be the most exciting and overwhelming time of your life. From finding out the gender of your child and choosing baby names to ensuring there are no prenatal issues, this time can bring with it a mixture of emotions. What you do not expect to have to deal with is your employer discriminating against you because you are pregnant, but it happens quite frequently. When pregnancy discrimination occurs, you need to know your rights and have someone advocate effectively on your behalf. Because of this, if you or a loved is experiencing pregnancy discrimination, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced employment discrimination attorney to strategize about the best possible outcomes for your situation.
The Pregnancy Discrimination Act prohibits any employer in the U.S. with 15 or more employees to treat employees unfairly because they are pregnant. The Maryland Employment Anti-Discrimination Law also protects pregnant women when an employer employs 15 or more employees. Under both state and federal law, discrimination based on pregnancy relates to all aspects of employment, from hiring to firing, job promotions, benefits, training, and job assignments. Under the federal law and the interpretation of most courts, when a woman is pregnant and is unable to perform her job because of a medical condition that is related to the pregnancy, employers are to treat her in the same manner that they would treat someone who has a disability.
This is required in Maryland, as well, so long as the accommodation does not impose any undue hardship for the employer’s business. If the accommodation is reasonable, such as changing the employee’s duties and/or work hours, providing leave, and transferring the employee to a position that has less strenuous work, an employer must entertain all means of providing this accommodation. Also, under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act and Maryland’s Employment Anti-Discrimination Law, you cannot be asked about your pregnancy during a job interview. Though this is the general information as it pertains to pregnancy discrimination, your situation may allow for a deeper interpretation of the laws and therefore, if you find yourself in this situation, you should seek legal advice and representation to determine what is the best strategy for your case.
Need Legal Advice?
Pregnancy has its own fair share of issues ranging from morning sickness to doctor appointments. When these things come up in the workplace, whether an employer would like to give you time off should not be a question and you should not have to deal with your employer discriminating against you because of it. When pregnancy discrimination exists, you have certain avenues by which to ensure that your rights are upheld and that your voice is heard. If you or a loved one is experiencing pregnancy discrimination, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced Maryland and D.C. employment discrimination attorney at The Law Firm of J.W. Stafford to help you with your case. Contact our office today.