Two federal laws protect your workplace rights, if you are a pregnant worker.
1.The first law is the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978, which is an amendment to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Your employer cannot discriminate against you in the terms of your employment on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related conditions, under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA).
2.The second law is the Family and Medical Leave Act. Larger employers must provide unpaid leave for certain family and medical reasons, including pregnancy and bonding with a new child, Under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
Most states also prohibit pregnancy discrimination, and some states are more generous than the FMLA in providing employees with time off work for pregnancy disability and caring for a new child. The laws of your state may give you additional rights.
The Pregnancy Discrimination Act:
-Title VII- prohibits employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of sex;
-the PDA makes clear that this prohibition includes pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions.
-While the PDA does not require employers to provide time off for pregnancy disability, it does require employers to treat pregnancy disability the same as other disabilities for purposes of sick leave or temporary disability benefits.
-So, if your employer has a sick leave policy, you should be able to take as many sick days for pregnancy and childbirth as other employees are allowed for other illnesses.
Your employer must provide reasonable accommodations for your pregnancy on the same basis as it provides accommodations to employees who are temporarily disabled for other reasons, unless it has a neutral business reason (one that does not discriminate based on pregnancy) for treating workers differently. However, even if your employer has such a justification, it must accommodate pregnant employees if its policy would otherwise place a significant burden on female employees, unless the reason for the difference in treatment is strong enough to justify the burden.
Under the PDA, your employer also:
1.must reinstate you in the same manner in which it reinstates other
employees with other temporary disabilities,
2.may not require you to take time off work during your pregnancy if you are able to do your job, and
3.must give you seniority credit for your period of leave in the same manner as it gives employees seniority credit for other kinds of disability leave.
Some states require employers to make reasonable accommodations for pregnant employees, regardless of whether they accommodate employees with other disabilities and most states also prohibit pregnancy discrimination.
Job Security and Time Off:
The FMLA provides job-protected leave, which means that you are entitled to get your job back when your leave is over. An employee must be offered the same job or an equivalent one when he or she returns, unless any of the following are true:
1.The employee would have lost the job regardless of taking FMLA leave (for example, because the employee’s department was laid off).
2.The employee cannot perform an essential function of the job (although the employee may be entitled to a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities in this situation).
3.The employee is among the highest-paid 10% of the company’s workforce, and reinstating the employee would cause substantial and grievous economic injury to the company (called the “key employee” exception).
4.The employee takes FMLA leave fraudulently.
It's illegal for an employer to reprimand an employee for taking FMLA leave or to count FMLA leave against an employee in any way. For example, an employer may not count FMLA leave as an unexcused absence under its attendance policy.
Unless one of these exceptions applies, employees are entitled to get their jobs back and to have all of their benefits reinstated when their leave is over. (The FMLA requires employers to continue an employee’s health insurance during leave; for more information.