In the not-so-distant past, if a woman became pregnant while she was employed, it could mean the instant loss of her job. However, at the end of the 1970s, U.S. lawmakers enacted the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978. This act serves as a powerful law that protects women from any kind of employment-related discrimination if they become pregnant.
Still, just because you are protected does not mean it’s entirely safe to tell the office about becoming pregnant. Caution is always advised.
The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 protects employees who work at companies with 15 or more employees from discrimination on the basis of pregnancy. As for workers at smaller companies, they can also receive pregnancy protections under California law.
Here are some of the protections that pregnant women benefit from:
Although the law protects pregnant women from on-the-job discrimination, the world has not exactly caught up to speed with the law. As such, women who have newly become pregnant may want to use caution when spreading the news. Just because you’re protected by law doesn’t mean you won’t face discrimination, so use your best judgment about how and when to inform your employer of your pregnancy.
Have you faced employment-related discrimination at work or while applying for a job? Learn more about your legal rights and options, and you will find that the law is often on your side.