Are you having labor pains of a different kind?

Having a baby is typically a very exciting event in a person's life. Whether it's your first time or you already have several other children at home, welcoming a new life into the world is a memorable event that many would call a great blessing. Sadly, when it comes to telling a boss the good news, the reaction is not always positive. In fact, many women in Louisiana and other regions throughout the nation have been wrongfully terminated from their positions after their superiors learned they were pregnant.

There are also many others who an employer refused to hire in the first place, simply because they were expecting babies. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act came about as an amendment to a 1964 Civil Rights Act. This amendment prohibits employers from refusing to hire pregnant women, providing they are capable of carrying out prospective duties on the job.

Has your employer violated the PDA?

It's unfortunate that a time in your life that's supposed to be joyful would be become stressful and upsetting because you have been discriminated against due to your condition. Before you determine how best to take action against unrightful labor behavior, it helps to know just what the Pregnancy Discrimination Act means. Here are the basics:

  • Pregnant women may not be subjected to prejudice by employers, co-workers, clients or customers - meaning, employers cannot terminate their positions or refuse to hire them simply because they are pregnant.
  • Already employed pregnant women cannot be docked pay nor discriminated against regarding any aspect of their jobs, including raises, promotions, trainings, benefits or job assignments.
  • If an employer requires a pregnant woman to obtain medical clearance for her condition in order to receive time off work or sick pay benefits, then every other employee must be required to do the same.
  • Employers must hold open job positions for pregnant women needing time off work due to their conditions for the same amount of time they do the same for other workers on temporary disability or sick leaves of absence.

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act addresses other issues as well, such as health insurance. If you believe your employer has unjustly terminated your position after learning you were pregnant, you have a right to seek justice in the matter. Just as protection exists for workers against wrongful treatment because of their race, gender, faith or ethnic background, pregnant women are under the same protection regarding disparate treatment in the workplace because of their conditions.

An employment law attorney with experience in protecting the rights of workers suffering discrimination on the job can help you determine the most viable option for holding those who violated the law accountable for their actions.