One in four women experiences the loss of a pregnancy. Further, miscarriage occurs in around 25% of pregnancies within the first 20 weeks of pregnancy. While these statistics show this is a challenge that impacts many women, it is less clear how employers must respond.
What does the Pregnancy Discrimnation Act protect?
Congress added the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) to Title VII to ensure that employers did not discriminate against pregnant employees. The PDA requires employers to offer leave or benefits to pregnant workers if those benefits are offered to other employees who experience physical or mental disabilities. While this does not guarantee a pregnant worker an accommodation, it does ensure that pregnant workers cannot be treated differently. This extends to hiring, firing, promotions, assignments, layoffs, training, as well as fringe benefits such as leave and health insurance. Further, this requires employers to provide a pregnant employee who is temporarily unable to perform the job with accommodations similar to other temporarily disabled employees.
Is a miscarriage a pregnancy condition under the PDA?
Yes, the EEOC filed suits against employers who fired individuals because they took medical leave for pregnancy-related conditions. The guidance listed miscarriage as one of the examples of pregnancy-related conditions. Additionally, the EEOC pursued a case where an employer fired a woman after she took time off for medical treatment after a miscarriage. Ultimately, the employer settled the suit.
Can I take leave for a miscarriage?
Perhaps. This depends on whether your employer offers temporary leave for other physical or mental disabilities. If your employer provides other temporary leave, then your employer must offer leave for your miscarriage.
Contact An Experienced Pregnancy Discrimination Lawyer Today
There are both state and federal laws that protect the rights of pregnant employees. If you think you have been the victim of pregnancy discrimination in the workplace, we can help. At McOmber McOmber & Luber, we take a proactive approach to each and every legal issue our clients face. Call our Red Bank office at 732-842-6500, our Marlton office at 856-985-9800, our Newark office at 973-878-9040, or contact us at 888-396-0736 or online for a free consultation.