Although women are the primary earners or co-primary earners in a majority of American households they unfortunately remain the frequent target of discrimination in the workplace. Even employers who otherwise treat women fairly often either actively or passively discriminate against employees who get pregnant.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which is charged with enforcing federal pregnancy discrimation laws, has reported a steady increase in the number of pregnancy claims over the past decade. At Harper Law, we have represented a number of women who have been the targets of pregnancy discrimination and continue to receive inquiries regarding possible pregnancy discrimination on a regular basis.
Unfortunately, the employees who are often the most affected by such discrimation are the one who can least afford to lose their jobs or suffer a reduction in income. Many of the complaints we have handled involve women working in restaurants or other services industry workers who rely on consistent income to support their families.
Federal Pregnancy Discrimination Law
The Arizona Civil Rights Act does not currently have any specific prohibitions against pregnancy discrimination, but the federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 (PDA) prohibits many employers from discriminating against workers based on pregnancy or childbirth. Under the PDA pregnant women must be allowed to work as long as they are able under the same terms as conditions that would apply to them if they were not pregnant. Addition protections for pregnant employees may also be found under the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Family Medical Leave Act.
One possible future development in the law relates to the requirement that employers provide certain accomodations to pregnant employees. The law does not currently require such accomodations but the proposed Pregnant Workers Fairness Act would require "reasonable accomodations" for employees who are physically limited by pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions.
Determining Whether You Have A Claim For Pregnancy Discrimination
Determination of whether a valid pregnancy discrimination claim exists usually requires an analysis of all the facts and circumstances of a particular case. It is also important to understand the strengths and weaknesses of any potential claim, along with the costs, and the risks, associated with bringing such a claim.
TALK TO A LAWYER
In order to determine your rights and understand your options, if you believe you have been the subject of unlawful pregnancy discrimination, you should consult with an experienced Arizona employment lawyer familiar with pregnancy discrimination actions as soon as possible. An experienced employment lawyer can help you determine whether the facts and circumstances of your case merit further action.
If you're ready to schedule an appointment with an Arizona employment attorney, give us a call at 602-256-6400, or submit your inquiry online and we'll get back to you as soon as possible.