Kansas City Pregnancy Discrimination Lawyer
Starting a family during your career can be scary. Anyone can have ambitions for where they want their professional life to go and a vision for what they want their family to be. Pregnancy can be an arduous process, and becoming pregnant while working can be stressful. Unfortunately, many people who find themselves pregnant while working face discrimination.
A person’s pregnancy does not justify any form of mistreatment. While pregnancy can be a difficult part of a person’s life, there are ways to accommodate an employee’s pregnancy without treating them unfavorably. If you have noticed that your employer is discriminating against you because of your pregnancy, you should contact a pregnancy discrimination lawyer.
What Does Pregnancy Discrimination in the Workplace Entail?
Pregnancy discrimination occurs when workers are mistreated because they are pregnant, giving birth, or have a medical condition linked to pregnancy or childbirth. Job applicants and employees are protected from pregnancy discrimination under the law. Legislation prohibits discrimination in any aspect of employment, such as hiring, termination, and promotion. Common examples of pregnancy discrimination include:
- Harassing an employee for pregnancy
- Denying an applicant employment because of pregnancy
- Not providing reasonable accommodation for pregnant employees
- Not allowing an employee to pump breast milk
- Forcing a pregnant employee to take time off
- Denying an employee a promotion because of pregnancy
- Restricting or denying an employee’s pregnancy leave
- Reassigning a pregnant employee’s work assignments while they can still work
- Terminating an employee while they’re on pregnancy leave
If you have been subject to any of these actions from an employer or potential employer, contact a workplace discrimination attorney to learn about your options.
Employer’s Legal Responsibilities to Pregnant Employees
When an employee becomes pregnant, their employer has certain responsibilities that they are legally obligated to fulfill under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 (PDA), an amendment to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Employers must allow pregnant staff to work as long as they are capable of doing so. An employer cannot require a worker to remain on leave until their baby is born if the employee recovers after being absent due to a pregnancy-related illness. The employer also cannot have a regulation prohibiting their employee from returning to work for a set period following childbirth.
Under the PDA, an employer who permits temporarily disabled employees to take disability leave or unpaid leave must permit the same leave for an employee who is temporarily disabled due to pregnancy. Employers must keep positions open for pregnant employees for the same amount of time as they keep them open for employees on sick or temporary disability leave.
Pregnancy-related impairments may be recognized as disabilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). When an employee is temporarily unable to perform their job due to pregnancy, the employer must treat them as any other temporarily impaired employee. As a result, an employer may be compelled to make reasonable accommodations for pregnancy-related impairments as long as they don’t cause considerable hardship or expense. Reasonable accommodations include:
- Light duty
- Modified work tasks
- Alternate assignments
- Disability leave
- Unpaid leave
Modified work tasks and alternate assignments can be difficult to create in some workplaces, but a pregnancy discrimination attorney can help you look into your specific employment case to see if it was possible for your employer to accommodate you.
Pregnancy-related conditions must be covered by employer-provided health insurance in the same way other medical conditions are. Expenses incurred during pregnancy should be compensated in the same way as those expended for other medical conditions, whether on a set basis or as a percentage of reasonable and customary charges. Also, a pregnant worker’s deductible must be limited to the same extent as costs for other conditions.
Furthermore, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) states that employers must provide the same level of health benefits to male employees’ spouses as they do to female employees’ spouses. In cases of abortion, the PDA only requires insurance coverage for abortion-related expenses if the mother’s life is at risk or if the abortion causes medical complications.
What Law Protects Me from Pregnancy Discrimination?
Workers are protected from pregnancy discrimination by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978, an amendment to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Title VII protects workers from employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, and national origin. The PDA adds protection against discrimination based on pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. Title VII and this amendment apply to:
- Employers with 15 or more employees (including state and local governments)
- Employment agencies
- Labor groups
- The federal government
According to the PDA, pregnant women and those suffering from pregnancy-related illnesses must be treated the same as other workers with similar abilities or limitations.
Consult a Skilled Kansas City Pregnancy Discrimination Lawyer
Even if you are pregnant, you have the same rights as any other employee in the workplace. While the Pregnancy Discrimination Act prohibits employers from discriminating against workers, pregnancy discrimination still occurrs and it’s not easy to deal with on your own. If you suspect an employer is violating your rights based on your pregnancy or pregnancy-related issues, consult a skilled Kansas City pregnancy discrimination lawyer about your case.
At Hollis Law Firm, our skilled attorneys know how to identify pregnancy discrimination. Our Kansas City employment lawyers can evaluate your case. We can design the best strategy to defend your rights while recovering any potential damages. Call us now at (800) 701-3672 or fill out our contact form to schedule a consultation.
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