Does pregnancy discrimination protection extend to after delivery?

On Behalf of | Jun 29, 2020 | Employment law

Per the name, it is easy to think that pregnancy discrimination protections are only applicable during pregnancy. However, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission explains that there are some parts of the protection act that continue even after you give birth. 

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act covers not only during pregnancy but also any situation related to pregnancy and childbirth. 

Issues after birth 

If you had a difficult labor and delivery, you may be unable to return to work as scheduled. Your employer cannot discriminate against you due to this. It must treat you the same way it would treat any other employee who had a medical condition that prevented him or her from returning to work. 

In addition, if you have any type of lasting effects from the pregnancy or birth, you get additional coverage under the Americans with Disabilities Act against any type of discrimination at work due to your condition. 

You also have rights under the Family and Medical Leave Act to take up to 12 weeks off to care for your new baby without any adverse action from your employer. 

Other issues 

When making employment decisions, an employer cannot use it against you that you just gave birth or that you could potentially get pregnant again in the future. This includes not treating you differently when assessing you for a promotion or when making decisions about laying off employees. 

If you will breastfeed, discrimination laws also protect you. You have the right to express milk while at work, and your employer must not retaliate against you for observing this right.