Not all workers may be aware that pregnancy discrimination is prohibited in the workplace. Understanding what actions employers are prohibited from taking against pregnant workers is valuable information to have to ensure those rights are protected.
Prohibited pregnancy discrimination actions
Protections against gender discrimination in the workplace include protections against pregnancy discrimination which prohibits employers from taking certain adverse actions against an employee because of pregnancy, childbirth or a related medical condition. Examples of adverse actions that are prohibited can include:
- Prohibitions against refusing to hire or promote an employee because of their pregnancy or related medical condition.
- Prohibitions against firing a pregnant employee because of their pregnancy or related medical condition.
- Prohibitions against asking questions of applicants for a job that they would not ask applicants who were not pregnant.
- Prohibitions against discriminating against employees who may become pregnant.
- Prohibitions against using a pregnancy to restrict an employee’s job opportunities or asking about a pregnancy unless doing so serves a legitimate business purpose.
- Prohibitions against not holding a job open for a pregnancy-related absence for the same length or time as a job would be held open for an employee on sick or disability leave.
- Prohibitions against prohibiting a pregnant employee for continuing their work if they would like to and are physically capable of performing all tasks associated with the work.
Other protections may also be available to pregnant workers and pregnant job applicants it is worth being familiar with. For anyone experiencing workplace discrimination based on pregnancy, employment law may be able to help workers facing this or other types of workplace discrimination.