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Understanding the Basics of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act

Pregnant

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) makes it unlawful for qualifying employers to discriminate against an employee based on pregnancy, childbirth, or any related medical condition. Generally, the purpose of the act is to help ensure that women who are pregnant or have a related condition are treated in the same way as other employees or applicants who have a similar ability to work.

Protections for Hiring

Under the PDA, it is illegal for an employer to not hire a woman based on pregnancy or a related condition if she is still able to perform the major functions of her job. Specifically, this protection extends to protecting women from not being hired due to either the prejudices of the employer or the prejudices of the employer’s clients or customers. Protection under the PDA also extends to prohibit employers from giving a pregnant hire less salary, training, promotions, or other benefits related to employment.

Requirements for Pregnancy Leave

The PDA provides that an employer should not require a woman who is pregnant or with a related condition to go through additional clearance procedures not expected of employees with their same ability to work. As an example, this means they can only require a medical report from a pregnant woman requesting leave if they also require a medical report from a similarly able employee seeking leave for a temporary disability. Similarly, if the employer holds open a job for a certain length of time for a temporarily disable employee, they must hold the job open for the same length of time for a pregnant employee. Finally, an employer who provides certain benefits when a temporarily disabled employee takes leave will have to provide those same.

If Pregnancy Impairs Your Ability to Perform Your Job

Generally, an employer must also afford pregnant employees any relief from work that they give to a temporarily disabled employee if the pregnancy temporarily prevents them from performing their job duties. By way of example, if an employer has a policy that provides for alternative or modified assignments for a temporarily disabled employee, it must also provide this option for a pregnant employee.

Health Insurance Coverage Under the PDA

Under the PDA, an employer must have health insurance that covers any expenses for pregnancy-related conditions on the same basis for expenses for other medical conditions. Similarly, any pregnancy-related expenses incurred by a pregnant woman must be reimbursed the same way as for other medical conditions. This rule applies regardless of whether employer pays on a percentage of reasonable charge or fixed basis. This means an employer may not impose any additional costs, including a larger deductible, on a pregnant employee.

Contact Us for Assistance

If you believe your employer has violated the PDA by discriminating against you because you are pregnant or have another related condition, you should contact an experienced employment law attorney today. The Clearwater, Florida employment law attorneys at Dilla Employment Law, P.A. can help go through the facts of your case and determine if you have a claim under the PDA. Contact us today for assistance.

Resource:

eeoc.gov/laws/statutes/pregnancy.cfm

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