Can pregnant women be discriminated against at work?

If you’ve witnessed someone you love being discriminated against because of being pregnant or having a child, you likely already know how wrong that act is. No person should be discriminated against for natural human relationships and functions. Discrimination against women or men is a crime; there are laws and acts in place to prevent it and to protect women who have become or are trying to become pregnant.

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 protects you, your wife, daughter, or female friends from being discriminated against due to being pregnant or suffering from issues related to pregnancy, either pre or postpartum. Pregnancy discrimination falls under sexual discrimination, and it is directly illegal thanks to section 701 of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Those who believe they are being discriminated against can make a claim with the help of their attorneys.

It’s illegal to discriminate against individuals because of their gender or sex. Included in sexual discrimination is the restriction on employers to not discriminate based on a woman’s choice to go through childbirth, because of health conditions related to pregnancy, or pregnancy itself. She should be treated equally in all employment situations, the same as anyone else who would be unable to or able to work in a similar capacity.

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act does not cover all aspects of potential pregnancies or pregnancies when it comes to insurance. It does not require your workplace to pay for your abortion unless your life is in danger, and it may not refuse health care options if you suffer injuries following one. Your employer may choose to pay for these services or could choose to refuse health care for abortions only.

Source: U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, “The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978,” accessed Sep. 24, 2015

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