What rights do pregnant workers have?

On Behalf of | Sep 12, 2019 | employee rights |

There are many reasons that it is illegal for Pennsylvania employers to discriminate against certain employees. Sex, race and country of origin are just a few, but according to the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, pregnant women are offered certain protections under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA).

The PDA states that if a pregnant woman can handle the major parts of her job, the employer cannot refuse to hire her. Any prejudices the employer, clients, customers or co-workers have against pregnant women should have no bearing on her employment.  Discrimination against pregnant women is also illegal when it comes to other employment aspects such as the following:

  • Job assignments
  • Pay
  • Layoffs
  • Fringe benefits
  • Promotions
  • Training

The Family and Medical Leave Act also provides a new parent with 12 weeks of leave when they add to their family. This also includes adoptive and foster parents. This time is intended to allow the parent to care for the child, although they must have been at the company for at least one year before qualifying for the leave.

In terms of health insurance, the employer must cover any costs incurred by conditions related to pregnancy the same as they would cover the costs of other medical conditions. There can be no larger or additional deductible added for a pregnant woman, and the costs should remain the same as they would with any other condition. Employers must also offer the same health benefits to spouses of both female and male employees.

If you are pregnant and feel you have been discriminated against at work because of your condition, you have the right to demand better treatment. An employment attorney can discuss the best way to handle your situation.

This is for educational purposes and should not be interpreted as legal advice.