Understanding Pregnancy Discrimination at Work: Legal Rights and Protections

By Administrator | March 25, 2024
Pregnancy Discrimination

The joy of expecting a child should be met with anticipation, not anxiety about workplace discrimination. Yet, pregnancy discrimination remains an unfortunate reality in many workplaces, casting a shadow over what should be a joyous time. At DeToffol & Gittleman, we recognize the gravity of this issue and aim to provide a comprehensive guide that empowers individuals to understand their legal rights, recognize discriminatory practices, and seek the necessary legal support to navigate these distressing situations.

Pregnancy discrimination, a form of unlawful workplace bias, occurs when an employer treats a woman unfavorably due to pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. Despite legal protections in place, pregnant employees often face hurdles in their professional lives, encountering situations where discriminatory actions in the workplace mar the miraculous journey of motherhood.

Federal laws, such as the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, offer safeguards against pregnancy discrimination. These laws unequivocally prohibit employers from treating pregnant employees less favorably than other employees in similar conditions. Additionally, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides eligible employees with job-protected leave for pregnancy-related medical issues.

However, the subtlety of pregnancy discrimination often makes it challenging to identify. Instances where an employer suddenly alters an employee’s responsibilities upon disclosing pregnancy or denies reasonable accommodations could be indicative of discrimination. Other concerning signals include negative remarks about pregnancy affecting job performance or inquiries regarding family planning during interviews or evaluations.

Navigating pregnancy discrimination requires not just awareness of legal protections but also a clear understanding of how to recognize and address discriminatory behavior in the workplace. Documenting instances of discriminatory treatment and seeking guidance from knowledgeable employment attorneys are crucial steps toward safeguarding rights and confronting these unjust practices.

At DeToffol & Gittleman, we recognize the gravity of this issue and aim to offer a comprehensive guide that empowers individuals to understand their legal rights, recognize discriminatory practices, and seek the necessary legal support.

What Constitutes Pregnancy Discrimination

Pregnancy discrimination occurs when an employer treats an employee unfavorably due to pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition. This discrimination can manifest in various forms, including but not limited to refusal to hire or promote, demotion, unequal pay, reduced hours, and denial of benefits or accommodations related to pregnancy.

Federal Legal Protections

Federal laws, such as the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, protect employees from discrimination based on pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. These laws prohibit employers from treating pregnant employees less favorably than other employees in similar conditions. The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) also provides eligible employees with job-protected leave for pregnancy-related medical issues. For example, the mother and father are entitled to FMLA leave to be with the healthy newborn child (i.e., bonding time) during the 12 months beginning on the date of birth. An employee’s entitlement to FMLA leave for a birth expires at the end of the 12 months beginning on the date of the birth. And even more so, if state law allows, or the employer permits, bonding leave to be taken beyond this period, such leave will not qualify as FMLA leave.

Recognizing Pregnancy Discrimination in the Workplace

It’s essential to identify signs of pregnancy discrimination, which can often be subtle. Instances where an employer suddenly changes an employee’s responsibilities or denies requested accommodations related to pregnancy could be indicative of discrimination. Other red flags include negative comments about pregnancy impacting job performance or inquiries about family planning during interviews or evaluations.

Steps to Address Pregnancy Discrimination

Seeking guidance from experienced employment attorneys like those at DeToffol & Gittleman ensures that your rights are protected and that you receive expert advice on navigating this challenging situation.


Pregnancy discrimination remains a significant concern in the workplace, but understanding your rights and legal protections is key. At DeToffol & Gittleman, we’re committed to assisting individuals facing pregnancy discrimination. Our experienced attorneys stand ready to provide guidance, support, and unwavering advocacy to protect your rights in the workplace.

Contact DeToffol & Gittleman

Contact DeToffol & Gittleman today to schedule a consultation regarding pregnancy discrimination at work. Our expert attorneys are dedicated to fighting for your rights and providing the legal support you need during this challenging time.

The information provided in this blog post is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice. Laws vary significantly from one jurisdiction to another, and therefore, the concepts discussed here may not apply universally or to every case. Furthermore, laws, especially in this field, are subject to frequent changes, so there is no guarantee that the information presented is current or up to date at the time of reading.