Adverse Employment Actions for Getting Pregnant?
You Have Rights Under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act
The Pregnancy Discrimination Act is an amendment to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which outlawed sex discrimination. The 1978 federal legislation was a specific response to the harassment, retaliation and prejudicial treatment of women who became pregnant while employed.
More than 30 years later, many employers are still discriminating against pregnant women in the workforce. The law firm of Feldman Morgado, P.A., represents female employees in the metro Atlanta area and North Georgia who have been terminated or otherwise mistreated in violation of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act or the Family and Medical Leave Act.
Pregnancy Discrimination Is Illegal
If you were denied a job or singled out for reprisal because of pregnancy, childbirth or maternity leave, contact us to learn your rights in a free, confidential consultation.
The Pregnancy Discrimination Act
Some employers seem to take it personally when a female employee becomes pregnant, as though she were somehow disloyal to the company. Some employers object to the hassle and expense of maternity leave and replacement workers. When these attitudes cross the line into adverse employment actions (harassment, withheld pay or benefits, demotion or termination), the employer may be liable for monetary damages.
Among protections under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act:
- An employer cannot refuse to hire a woman on the basis of her pregnancy or pregnancy-related condition.
- A pregnant woman's marital status can never be the basis for discrimination, including refusal of employment, denial of benefits, discharge or discipline, or harassment by management or co-workers.
- An employer cannot single out a pregnant woman with special procedures to determine her ability to work, nor arbitrarily preclude a pregnant woman from certain jobs.
- An employer cannot require a pregnant woman to provide a doctor's note for pregnancy-related sick leave or disability leave unless all employees are required to submit doctor's documentation for absences.
- An employer cannot "manage" the employee's pregnancy. She can work up until the birth of her child if she chooses. If she has had pregnancy-related absences or complications, she cannot be required to stay off the job until the baby is born. A woman who has given birth can return to work as soon as she chooses.
- Prenatal care and childbirth must be covered by the employer-paid health insurance at the same coverage as any other medical conditions.
Under the Family and Medical Leave Act, a woman who has given birth can take up to 12 weeks of job-protected, unpaid leave to care for her newborn. Fathers are also entitled to take "paternity leave" if they are the primary caregiver of the baby.
Atlanta Pregnancy Discrimination Lawyer
If you have been the victim of pregnancy discrimination, our experienced employment law attorneys will aggressively pursue your legal remedies, which may include reinstatement to your job with full benefits and back pay, or a lawsuit for damages such as back pay, front pay, emotional distress, attorney's fees and possible punitive damages.
Managing shareholder Mitchell Feldman is a member of the State Bar of Georgia and oversees our Atlanta office. He has extensive experience with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the Georgia Human Relations Commission (HRC), and has litigated in state and federal courts throughout Georgia.
The Georgia FMLA lawyers of Feldman Morgado will help you get justice for pregnancy discrimination. Please contact us today for a free initial consultation.