You’ve just learned the wonderful and life-changing news that you are pregnant. Congratulations! This should be one of the most special times in your life. There’s one person who is not as happy for you: your employer. Instead of sharing your joy, your employer sees your absence during maternity leave and work restrictions due to the pregnancy. If your employer fires you or takes some other adverse employment action against you because of your pregnancy, then it may violate Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
UNLAWFUL PRACTICES UNDER TITLE VII
Title VII states:
“It shall be an unlawful employment practice for an employer—(1) to fail or refuse to hire or to discharge any individual, or otherwise to discriminate against any individual with respect to his compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, because of such individual’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.” 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-2(a)(1).
The Pregnancy Discrimination Act amended Section 701 of Title VII to prohibit discrimination on the basis of pregnancy:
“(k) The terms ‘because of sex’ or ‘on the basis of sex’ include, but are not limited to, because of or on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions; and women affected by pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions shall be treated the same for all employment-related purposes, including receipt of benefits under fringe benefit programs, as other persons not so affected but similar in their ability or inability to work, and nothing in section 703(h) of this title shall be interpreted to permit otherwise.”
If you believe you may have been discriminated against because of your pregnancy, please contact a pregnancy discrimination lawyer at Weiner & Sand LLC to discuss your rights.