How does the Pregnancy Discrimination Act protect you?

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act or PDA provides you with protection against discrimination in the workplace when you are pregnant, explains the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. It applies to hiring, pay, promotions, layoff, training, fringe benefits and all aspects of employment.

Unfortunately, not all employers or supervisors honor the PDA and discrimination still occurs in the workplace.

Protections against harassment

You should never have to face harassment in the workplace. Under the PDA, you cannot face harassment because of your pregnancy, childbirth or any medical condition related to your pregnancy. If you feel as though your colleagues, supervisors or any other professional in the workplace has made the environment hostile due to consistent and severe harassment, they violate the PDA. For instance, if your employer uses intimidation tactics or harasses you in hopes that you quit, this is clear discrimination.

Protections against termination

You cannot face termination due to pregnancy. Your employer must treat you the same as any other temporarily disabled employee. He or she may provide you with an alternative or lighter assignment. If other temporarily disabled employees can take disability leave, the employer has to offer the same to you, if you have a temporary disability due to pregnancy.

Employers cannot ask for special procedures for pregnant employees that they do not ask for with others. If an employer requires special procedures for pregnant employees that he or she does not require for other employees, this is discrimination under the PDA. However, if an employer requires all employees to have a doctor’s statement, then you have to submit the same.