The Pregnancy Discrimination Act or PDA is an amendment to the federal discrimination law known as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Any discrimination based on pregnancy & childbirth or any related health conditions is unlawful sex discrimination under the Title VII, which applies to employers with 15 or more number of employees, including local or state governments.
Those women who are pregnant or affected by any related conditions have to be treated in a same manner as other employees or applications with same abilities or limitations. Many of the states in the US also have certain laws concerning pregnancy discrimination & breastfeeding.
Hiring Pregnant Applicants
Employers may not reject an applicant because of her pregnancy, any related condition, or due to the prejudices of clients, coworkers, and customers. They cannot be discriminated against as long as she is able to perform the job, and her pregnancy cannot be a reason for not hiring her.
Pregnancy & Maternity Leave
Employers cannot force their pregnant employees to leave as a result of their condition, as long as the concerned individuals are able to perform their duties. If a particular employee is unable to perform their job, temporarily, then they should be treated just like other temporarily disabled employees. For instance, they should be provided modified tasks, offered disability pay, leave without pay, or alternating assignments.
If a certain woman is absent due to her pregnancy or any related condition and eventually recovers, her employer cannot force her to stay on leave until the baby is born. Additionally, the employer cannot have a rule in place that prohibits any of their employees from returning to their job to work for an established length of time after giving birth.
Pregnant employees have to be allowed to work as long as they can do their work as it is expected of them. All employers must keep the jobs open for pregnant employees for the same amount of time as they would do for employees on a sick or a disability leave.
Fringe Benefits for Pregnant Employees
If a certain employer offers benefits to its employees who are on a leave, it has to provide the same types of benefits to those individuals who are on leave due to pregnancy or related conditions. In addition to that, employees who are pregnant have to be treated exactly the same as any other employees who may be on a temporary disability leave when it comes to crediting and accrual of seniority, pay increases, vacation calculations, and temporary disability benefits.
Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and Pregnant Employees
All pregnant employees enjoy additional rights under the FMLA. Under the Title VII, these employees are protected by discrimination laws no matter how long they have been employed at the company. A policy that refuses pregnancy leave during the 1st year of employment but does provide leave for other medical conditions would be classified as pregnancy discrimination and the employer would be violating against Title VII.