Pregnancy discrimination is pervasive in workplaces across the nation and various laws have been enacted to protect against unfair treatment on the job. Recently, the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA) and the Providing Urgent Maternal Protections for Nursing Mothers, or PUMP Act, were signed into law, imposing new federal requirements on employers with respect to workplace accommodations related to pregnancy, childbirth, and nursing moms.
The PWFA provides employees who have conditions arising out of childbirth or pregnancy the right to reasonable accommodations, such as allowing pregnant workers to sit during a shift, a temporary reassignment, or allowing pregnant employees to telecommute. Under the Act, an employer must provide a reasonable accommodation for a known physical or mental condition related to, affected by, or arising out of pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions regardless of whether the condition meets the definition of disability under the ADA.
The PUMP Act expands federal law requiring employers to provide accommodations for breastfeeding workers to include workers not previously entitled to lactation accommodations under federal law. The Act requires employers to provide reasonable breaks to an employee to express milk up to a year after an employee’s child is born, logging the time as hours worked if an employee is not relieved from duty for the entirety of each break. Before making a claim of liability, the employee must notify the employer of their failure to comply with the law, allowing them 10 days to correct course.
Both measures expand the rights of pregnant and breastfeeding workers, who, on one hand, may be subject to sex discrimination or retaliation for conditions related to, affected by, or arising out of pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions and, on the other hand, experience wage and hour issues when trying to breastfeed/express milk on the job.
Common Types of Pregnancy Discrimination
Sex discrimination may include not hiring someone because they are pregnant or plan to become pregnant; terminating an employee because of pregnancy; retaliating against an employee for filing a discrimination complaint related to pregnancy; refusing to provide accommodations; and harassment related to, affected by, or arising out of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions.
It is illegal to discriminate against an employee who is pregnant, nursing, or those who plan to become pregnant. If you believe you are being discriminated against in the workplace due to pregnancy or a related condition, it is worthwhile to discuss your concerns with an experienced employment discrimination law attorney who can advise you on the strength of your case and seek compensation for damages. Contact the Law Offices of Alan C. Olson & Associates today for immediate assistance today at 262-785-9606.