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Pregnant workers have rights against discrimination

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congratulations from your co-workers and your manager. But that is not the case for others – there are still women today that fear they will lose their jobs due to pregnancy. For this reason it is imperative for women who are or may become pregnant to be aware of their rights as a working woman.

Women have employment protection during pregnancy

Women in Pennsylvania enjoy both federal and state protection from pregnancy discrimination in the workplace. Let’s first explore the federal protection granted under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 (PDA), which amends Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, by making it clear that prohibitions against gender discrimination include pregnancy discrimination.

The law prohibits eligible employers from failing to hire or otherwise discriminate against pregnant women in regards to:

  • Wages;
  • Terms, privileges, and condition of employment; and
  • Promotion

The law is enforced by the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and applies to employers with 15 or more employees.

Pennsylvania anti-pregnancy discrimination laws

As of 2016, Pennsylvania State law does not serve to enhance the federal protections against pregnancy discrimination.

Philadelphia anti-pregnancy discrimination laws

In January 2014, the Mayor of the City of Philadelphia passed Bill Number 130867, an ordinance amending the Philadelphia City Code; it is called the Fair Practices Ordinance: Protections Against Unlawful Discrimination. It put into place additional protections for pregnant or new mothers. These measures, according to the ordinance require:

“Reasonable workplace accommodations for employees who have needs related to pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition and making technical changes, all under certain terms and conditions.”

This includes sex discrimination (including pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition) and failure to provide reasonable accommodations to the needs of an employee for her pregnancy, childbirth or a related medical condition.

The ordinance includes the following description of reasonable accommodation as:

“…an accommodation that can be made by an employer in the workplace that will allow the employee to perform the essential functions of the job. Reasonable accommodations include, but are not limited to, restroom breaks, periodic rest for those who stand for long periods of time, assistance with manual labor, leave for a period of disability arising from childbirth, reassignment to a vacant position, and job restructuring.”

How to get help

If you believe you have been discriminated against because of your pregnancy or pregnancy related medical condition in Philadelphia, contact The Law Firm of Jacobson & Rooks, LLC. Our number in Philadelphia is 856-208-5748. We can discuss what occurred, explain your rights and help you pursue legal action to protect your rights.