There are several federal laws that provide protections against discrimination and sexual harassment for pregnant women and parents. In addition, there are new provisions to help accommodate breastfeeding mothers.

What does the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) provide?
The PDA prevents employers from treating an employee differently at work because she is pregnant. Under the PDA, employers are not allowed to discriminate in any aspect of employment, including the following:

  • hiring
  • firing
  • promotions
  • job assignments
  • pay
  • training
  • fringe benefits (such as leave or health insurance)

What if I can’t do my job because of my pregnancy?
If you have a medical condition related to pregnancy or childbirth that makes you temporarily unable to perform your job, your employer must treat you the same as any other employee with a temporary disability by offering you, for example, a different job assignment that you can perform, disability leave or unpaid leave. If your medical condition is considered a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act, your employer may have to offer you a reasonable accommodation at work.

What if my boss or coworkers harass me at work?
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act prohibits sexual harassment in the\ workplace, including harassment because of pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition. Frequent and severe harassment at work and harassment that leads to you losing your job or being demoted is illegal.

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