Maternity and Pregnancy: What you need to know

What laws protect pregnant employees? The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) protects the pregnant employee from discriminatory actions that are based on her pregnant status. It applies to employers with 15 or more employees. In addition, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) protects the leave rights of pregnant employees and applies if there are 50 or more employees in the workplace. Some pregnant employees may be eligible for protection under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)..
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The PDA requires that a covered employer treat women affected by pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions in the same manner as other applicants or employees who are similar in their ability or inability to work. The PDA covers all aspects of employment, including firing, hiring, promotions, and fringe benefits (such as leave and health insurance benefits). Pregnant workers are protected from discrimination based on current pregnancy, past pregnancy, and potential pregnancy. Various other laws protect the pregnant employee, including the FMLA, and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), and in some cases, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), as amended by the ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA)where pregnancy-related complications qualify as a disability.
The PDA amended Title VII of the Civil Rights Act in 1978. The PDA defines discrimination because of sex to include discrimination because of or on the basis of pregnancy. As with other claims of discrimination under Title VII, an employer will be found to have discriminated on the basis of pregnancy if an employee's pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical condition was all or part of the ...

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