Pregnancy Discrimination Act 1978
Are you aware that the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 was passed in order to provide equal protection to pregnant employees and job applicants under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act? The act has been in force for over four decades now and was intended to narrow the gender gap by prohibiting discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions.
Employers should ensure that pregnant employees are treated equally in all aspects of employment, including hiring, training, job assignments, promotions, pay, and benefits. Employers should also provide reasonable accommodations to pregnant employees, such as time off for prenatal appointments, modified duties, and temporary transfers to less physically demanding positions.
The act was passed to address the issue of pregnant women being fired, demoted, or denied employment because of their pregnancy or related medical conditions. In the famous case of Geduldig v. Aiello in 1974, the Supreme Court ruled that discrimination on the basis of pregnancy was not sex discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. The court stated that the act did not protect women solely because of their ability to become pregnant.
However, after this ruling, a strong public outcry led to the introduction of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, which amended Title VII to include pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions as sex discrimination. The act also made it illegal for employers to refuse to hire a pregnant woman because of her pregnancy or related medical condition.
For employers, it is important to note that the Pregnancy Discrimination Act applies to businesses with 15 or more employees, including state and local governments. Additionally, employers must provide health insurance coverage for pregnancy-related claims in the same way as for other medical conditions.
At the end of the day, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 is a critically important piece of legislation that ensures pregnant employees are afforded equal protections under the law. If you or someone you know has been the victim of pregnancy discrimination in the workplace, you should be aware that you have legal rights and should consult with a qualified attorney to discuss your options.
Remember, pregnancy discrimination is illegal – and no one should ever feel like their job is in jeopardy because of their pregnancy or related medical condition.
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