Today, most Pennsylvania households have more than one income for economic stability. Unfortunately, companies often endanger that much–needed stability when employees become pregnant. At Samuel J. Cordes & Associates, we often advocate for women facing gender stereotyping and discrimination in the workplace.
The American Association of University Women reports that despite the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978, many women still face discrimination at work. The PDA is an amendment to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. It prohibits most businesses from taking action or making policies that negatively impact women who are pregnant or able to become pregnant.
Under the PDA, employers cannot automatically reassign you to other duties or fire you due to a pregnancy. You may request reassignment if you cannot perform the routine tasks associated with your job. Legally the employer must give you the same consideration as similar requests from non-pregnant employees.
Taking leave after giving birth is also protected under the PDA and the Family and Medical Leave Act. Businesses must hold your position open for the same amount of time it would for any employee on leave due to medical issues or temporary disability. Vacation time and pay increases should also remain unaffected and marital status does not affect pregnancy-related benefits.
If you work for a company with fewer than 15 employees, check with the Human Resources department and the employee handbook for specific policies. If you experience discrimination due to your pregnancy or pregnancy-related medical issues, you may have grounds for a claim. Visit our webpage for more information on this topic.