Pregnancy discrimination occurs when a female employee is treated adversely due to her pregnancy, childbirth, or a medical condition related to these. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) prohibits pregnancy discrimination with regard to all employment decisions, including hiring, pay, training, job assignments, promotions, layoffs, benefits like health insurance, and all other aspects of employment. If you face pregnancy discrimination in your workplace, the Austin pregnancy discrimination lawyers at Wiley Walsh, P.C. may be able to help you recover damages. Contacting an employment discrimination attorney is a critical step to take in asserting your rights.Understanding Protections Against Pregnancy Discrimination
It is illegal to treat a pregnant woman or a woman who has given birth adversely in the workplace due to her pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition. There are a number of medical conditions that can arise from pregnancy, such as gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, pubic symphysis, and more.
When you cannot do your job because of pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition, you are supposed to be treated in the same way as other temporarily disabled employees under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act and Texas law. This means that the employer may need to give you alternative assignments, disabled leave, or unpaid leave if it would do the same for a worker who had a broken leg or a bout of pneumonia.
Harassment is one form of discrimination. It is illegal to harass a woman due to her pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical condition. One type of harassment that a pregnant woman can face is hostile work environment harassment. This exists when unwelcome conduct or speech is so severe or frequent that a hostile work environment is created, or an adverse employment decision is taken, such as a firing or demotion. A harasser need not be your boss; it can also be your coworkers, customers, or clients. However, different rules apply if the perpetrator of the harassment does not have supervisory authority over you. A pregnancy discrimination attorney can advise Austin residents on which rules apply to their specific situation.
A normal pregnancy is not considered a disability. However, a pregnancy may count as a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), depending on whether there are complications that create physical or mental impairments that substantially limit one or more of your major life activities. If you meet the definition of "disability," a covered employer would need to give you a reasonable accommodation for a disability related to pregnancy, unless it can show that this presents an undue hardship. For example, if you need more frequent doctors' visits because you are carrying twins, or you need to work from home due to bed rest, your employer should provide this accommodation unless it poses an undue hardship.
In addition to any leave that may be necessary under the ADA, the Family and Medical Leave Act may apply to your situation. The FMLA provides 12 weeks of leave that can be used to care for a new child. However, it applies only to companies with 50 or more employees and to employees who are eligible because they worked for 12 months before taking the leave. In addition to leave to care for a newborn, you have rights under other laws, such as the right to express milk in the workplace.
You might have a claim for wrongful termination against an employer if you are terminated due to pregnancy or because you could not do your job because you were denied an accommodation to which you were entitled, or because you asked for or used an accommodation or FMLA leave. You will need to file a charge of discrimination with the EEOC or the Texas Workforce Commission if you believe that your rights under the PDA, the ADA, the FMLA, or the Texas Labor Code were violated.Hire an Experienced Pregnancy Discrimination Lawyer in the Austin Area
If you face pregnancy discrimination in the workplace, you should consult an experienced attorney. Wiley Walsh, P.C. represents workers in Georgetown, Round Rock, Cedar Park, Pflugerville, Leander, Del Valle, Kyle, San Marcos, San Antonio, New Braunfels, and Fredericksburg, among other cities. Call us at (512) 271-5527 or use our online form to set up an appointment with an Austin pregnancy discrimination attorney. We can help people who need a hostile work environment lawyer or guidance in other employment claims.