Pregnancy Discrimination

Employment Laws | The Vegas Lawyers

Pregnancy Discrimination Lawyer in Las Vegas

Pregnancy Discrimination Struggle in the Workplace

It’s an unfortunate fact of life that pregnancy discrimination, sexism, and harassment are just a few of the things women still struggle with at some workplaces.  On the other hand, smart employers know and understand that women are invaluable employees and therefore it’s important to have in place policies that protect women, support them and value their incredible contributions.       

Having a child is a source of celebration and should never cause a female employee stress worrying about her job.  Fortunately, there are strong laws in place to protect women from pregnancy discrimination.  Simply put, it is illegal for employers to create a hostile work environment and discriminate based on sex or pregnancy.

If you’re experiencing pregnancy discrimination at work, get in touch with the legal team at The Vegas Lawyers by calling (702) 707-7000 or reaching out to us through our website.  You have rights and we know how to protect them.   

What Is Pregnancy Discrimination?

In 1978, Congress approved the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (“PDA”), which served as an amendment to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  The goal was to prohibit/prevent sex discrimination based on pregnancy.

In 2015, the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released updated guidance explaining how companies are legally expected to treat pregnant employees. The information is based on the PDA, as well as the Americans with Disabilities Act. It was the first update since 1983.

Congress passed the law to prevent discrimination against a woman based on pregnancy, childbirth, or other conditions related to either situation. The goal was to provide equal employment opportunities and a safe work environment.

Under the guidelines of this law, pregnancy discrimination can include, but is not limited to, the following actions:

  • Termination of employment due to pregnancy or leave of absence for childbirth or maternity leave
  • Adverse terms and conditions of employment based on pregnancy or potential pregnancy
  • Suspensions that are not lifted without a medical release
  • Non-job-related medical examinations
  • Forced leave
  • Unlawful termination of employment during pregnancy or while the woman is on maternity leave
  • Assumptions/stereotypes about a woman’s ability to perform job duties while pregnant, or whether she will have attendance issues once the child is born

The PDA helps ensure that a pregnant woman can work just like other employees and when she is not able to work due to complications, childbirth, or other related medical condition, she is to be accorded the same rights as other disabled employees.

In whole, the PDA covers the following:

  • All aspects of pregnancy
  • Current and past pregnancies
  • Potential pregnancies
  • Medical conditions related to the pregnancy and childbirth
  • The hiring process
  • Employment termination
  • Promotion
  • Health insurance benefits
  • Fair on-the-job treatment

How Do You Prove Pregnancy Discrimination?

To prove pregnancy discrimination, you will need to prove the following:

  • You were pregnant
  • You were qualified for the job
  • Your employer took a discriminatory action against you
  • There was a connection between your pregnancy and the actions of your employer.

The Americans With Disabilities Act

The Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) protects employees from discrimination based on their disability. The law also limits how/when an employer can require medical exams or make medical inquiries. Additionally, the law requires employers to make reasonable accommodations (taking frequent breaks, altering how tasks are performed, offering a temporary change of assignment) for disabled employees. Though pregnancy and childbirth are not disabilities, women are still protected under the ADA.

The Family And Medical Leave Act

The Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) of 1993 entitles eligible employees to take unpaid leave without worrying about losing their job. The FMLA is a job-protection act that allows women to leave for medical or family reasons.  If the employee is eligible and the employer is subject to FMLA, the employee is entitled to:

  • 12 workweeks of leave within 12 months for childbirth, caring for the newborn, placing a child in an adoption program, caring for a health condition that is adversely affecting their ability to do their job, and caring for immediate family members during an illness
  • 26 workweeks of leave during a 12-month period to care for a family member that is a service member who has suffered a serious illness or injury

The Scale Of The Problem: What the Numbers Say About Pregnancy Discrimination

Though there are laws in place to protect against discrimination, the EEOC has seen an increase in pregnancy discrimination charges. Claims overall increased by 25% and claims filed by women of color have increased by over 75%.

The most common reasons for these claims include:

  • Job termination because of the pregnancy
  • Closer job performance scrutiny
  • Harsher discipline than non-pregnant employees receive
  • Suspensions that employers refuse to lift until they receive a release from the woman’s doctor
  • Non-job-related medical examinations
  • Forced leave

Filing A Discrimation Claim: What You Need to Know About the Process

Before filing a lawsuit, you must first file a discrimination claim with the Las Vegas Office of the EEOC or the Nevada Equal Rights Commission (“NERC”).  Since the EEOC (a federal administrative agency) and NERC have a work-sharing agreement, both agencies will cooperate to process your claim. You do not need to separately file a claim with each entity.  Just choose one.   

Under state law, you need to file your claim within 300 days of the date you were discriminated against. Some legal claims have shorter deadlines, so it’s important to talk with a lawyer as soon after the discrimination occurred or as soon as possible to ensure you do not miss a deadline. 

After receiving your filing, the EEOC or NERC will send a notice to your employer. The agencies may request mediation between you and your employer as it can result in faster outcomes if both parties are amenable.


The Vegas Lawyers Will Fight for Your Legal Rights

Under the PDA, you have the right to be legally and financially protected from and compensated for pregnancy discrimination.  The Vegas Lawyers legal team has years of experience fighting for the rights of Nevada residents.

Let them put their knowledge and experience to good use for you.  Contact The Vegas Lawyers at (702) 707-7000 or get in touch through this website.

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