Pregnancy discrimination

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Updated: 4/13/2007 3:36 pm
According to the statutes under the federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act, employers must treat women affected by pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions in the same manner as other employees or applicants with the same skills or limitations. As long as a woman is able to perform the essential functions of a job, an employer can't fire, refuse to hire, or deny a promotion to her because of a pregnancy-related condition. Furthermore, if she's willing and able to work, she can't be forced to take her pregnancy leave early. In general, pregnant women must be treated in the same way as any other temporarily disabled employee. This may mean employers must provide modified tasks, alternative assignments, or disability leave when a pregnant woman is temporarily unable to perform her job. Employers must also hold open a job for a pregnant woman the same length of time jobs are held open for employees on sick or disability leave, as well as provide the same level of medical benefits. In addition to the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, pregnant women may also have rights under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act as well as under individual state or local laws. If you think that you're the victim of pregnancy discrimination, you can file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

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