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What are your rights as a pregnant employee in Pennsylvania?

On Behalf of | Mar 16, 2021 | workplace discrimination |

You have the same rights as other employees when you’re pregnant. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) of 1978 help protect the equal rights of pregnant employees in Pennsylvania.

Accommodations and benefits

The law recognizes that pregnancy is a temporary medical condition that employers should not discriminate against. If a longer-lasting health issue arises from giving birth, employers still can’t discriminate against you. Employers must provide accommodations and work with you to assist you in doing your job. You may also be eligible for disability benefits depending on what type of health issue you have.

Searching for a job

Many pregnant women who are searching for employment worry that their pregnancy will cause the employer to not consider them. Choosing to not hire someone based on their pregnancy counts as workplace discrimination. Likewise, employers can’t discriminate against you for planning to become pregnant or having had a past pregnancy. They can’t demote you or withhold a promotion from you based on your intent to have a child either.

During interviews, you are not required to inform the employer that you’re pregnant. It’s your choice as to when you want to let them know. The same goes for when you become pregnant while already employed. You can tell your employer when you want. If your pregnancy symptoms begin interfering with your work, it’s a good idea to inform them so that they don’t misunderstand why you are taking time off work or regularly running to the restroom.

Handling same tasks as men

Sometimes, an employer has good intentions and withholds a certain task out of concern it could harm the fetus if their employee becomes pregnant. However, the law considers sex-specific tasks to be discrimination. It’s up to the pregnant person to decide what job responsibilities they’re willing to carry out.

Knowing your rights as a pregnant worker will help you catch discrimination when it occurs. The sooner you take action against workplace discrimination, the better.