Addressing family responsibility discrimination at work

On Behalf of | Aug 30, 2019 | Employment law

Starting a family is an exciting time in a Pennsylvania couple’s life. Decorating the room and picking out names can be thrilling. However, for some women, it is a catalyst for discrimination in the workplace. At Samuel J. Cordes, we often act on our client’s behalf against their employer for pregnancy and family responsibility discrimination.  

 According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, discrimination based on childbirth, pregnancy and related medical conditions is unlawful under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. This is an amendment to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. It addresses several aspects of workplace bias.

 An employer cannot legally decline to hire you due to pregnancy or a related condition. Any pregnancy-based discrimination in other aspects of your existing employment, including training, job assignments, pay or promotions, is also forbidden. However, if the employer’s policy requires that all workers present a doctor’s note stating the employee’s inability to work before approving a leave of absence or paying sick benefit, you may need to do the same thing.

 Advanced pregnancy and related impairments may result in you being unable to perform some job tasks temporarily. Alternative duties, and disability or unpaid leave are typical options for other temporary conditions. The same options should be available to you. Any employer-provided health insurance must pay for pregnancy expenses in the same way other medical conditions are covered, with the same reimbursement procedure.

 The benefits for pregnancy-related conditions must be the same as the benefits other workers on medical leave receive. You might be eligible for 12 weeks of leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 if you worked for the employer for at least 12 months before the leave date. The laws and requirements surrounding the Pregnancy Discrimination Act and FMLA are complex.

 An experienced attorney can help sort out whether there are grounds for a discrimination case. Visit our webpage for more information on this topic.