Pregnancy bias remains common across industries: what employers should know
Forty years ago, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) was passed, yet the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) still receives more than 3,500 pregnancy bias charges each year. The New York Times recently published a report exposing widespread workplace pregnancy discrimination. The EEOC enforces multiple laws that affect pregnancy in the workplace, namely the PDA, the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA), and the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) along with various state laws. This article focuses on the PDA.
What is pregnancy discrimination?
According to the EEOC, “[p]regnancy discrimination involves treating a woman (an applicant or employee) unfavorably because of pregnancy, childbirth, or a medical condition related to pregnancy or childbirth.”
In 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the PDA establishes that pregnancy discrimination is a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The PDA provides that employers must treat pregnant women the same for “all employment-related purposes as other persons not so affected but similar in their ability or inability to work.” Young v. United Parcel Service, Inc.