What Protections Do I Have, Against Pregnancy Discrimination?

Pregnancy discrimination was added to Title Seven, which is the federal law that protects people on the basis of race or gender or disability or age. Now, they’re also protected on the basis of pregnancy or pregnancy related conditions.

What it says is that a woman who’s pregnant or has a pregnancy related condition has to be treated the same in employment purposes as any other employee would be treated.

If a woman were to take maternity leave or pregnancy related condition leave, her job needs to be held open the same as the company would hold open a job for another employee who was gone for some other type of medical condition.

Now, that’s the federal law. There’s also a state law, CADA, the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act. And under that act, pregnancy was added in. And so now, under Colorado law there’s an accommodation. If a woman is pregnant or has a pregnancy related condition, the employer has to provide a reasonable accommodation for her condition.

The other part of the law says that an employer can’t take an adverse action against an employee for asking for an accommodation. You can’t refuse to hire someone, you can’t refuse to promote someone because they’ve asked for a reasonable accommodation. So, the third thing that the company has to do is provide notice. Under the law, the company has to tell a new employee right away when they start of the rights they have if they were to get pregnant or have a pregnancy related condition. And they have to post a visible notice on the notice board that all employers have access to.

Pregnancy discrimination is becoming a very hot topic with the CCRD, the Colorado Civil Rights Division, who protect people from discrimination in Colorado, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that it protects people from federal law discrimination. They are taking a hard look at companies to ensure that they comply with these requirements.

We deal with pregnancy discrimination on a regular basis here at Miller and Steiert, and if you think you’re a person who’s suffering from discrimination because of your pregnancy or if you’re a company looking to understand what they have to do to comply with the law, feel free to give us a call.

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