Both employees and employers alike often forget that pregnant employees have special protections under the law. Indeed, employees cannot be demoted, fired, demoted or have any other adverse action taken against them because of their pregnancy-related medical condition, the pregnancy itself or the birth of their child. They also have other protections.
The law even protects fertility and capacity
Employers cannot treat their Pennsylvania employees differently because of their childbearing capacity or fertility. For example, a job cannot generally restrict jobs to infertile employees or men only, even if there are chemicals involved that affect women differently than men. Similarly, an employer cannot make an adverse employment action based on a woman’s statement that she intends to get pregnant.
What about pregnancy questions in interviews?
Asking pregnancy and family questions during interviews is not, in itself, illegal. However, if that woman is not hired, the fact that those questions were asked could be the basis of a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, pregnancy discrimination lawsuit.
Pregnancy-related conditions can also give employees protection. A reasonable accommodation may be needed for these conditions, like back pain, preeclampsia, etc. These also must be treated like other similarly limiting medical conditions.
Lactation and breastfeeding
Lactation must also be treated as similar limiting medical conditions. As such, if employers allow their other employees to modify their schedules for doctor’s appointments, injuries, etc., so to must they allow these modifications for lactation. In addition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, employers must provide break time for lactation, including a private place to express milk. Though, these are only a few of the protections women get under state and federal law.