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Workplace Legal Issues Essay

2101 words - 9 pages

The purpose of this paper is to discuss and analyze in depth the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978. This Act was approved on October 31, 1978 with the purpose of amending Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to prohibit sex discrimination on the basis of pregnancy.
The Pregnancy Discrimination Act was brought about as a result of the significant discrimination being placed upon woman in the workplace due to pregnancy or pregnancy related medical conditions. This Act was also passed in response to the U.S. Supreme Court holdings in General Electric Company v. Gilbert, that pregnancy discrimination does not violate the ...view middle of the document...


The Pregnancy Discrimination Act affects employers with 15 or more employees and prohibits discrimination based on pregnancy when it comes to any aspect of employment, including hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, layoff, training, fringe benefits, i.e. leave and health insurance, and any other terms or conditions related to employment. It also involves treating a woman hostilely or offensively due to being pregnant, childbirth or a medical condition resulting due to pregnancy or childbirth.

Hiring and working conditions are regulated by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act and provide that an employer may not refuse to hire a woman because of her pregnancy related condition as long as she is able to perform the major functions of her job. An employer cannot apply their own prejudices nor their coworkers, clients or customers’ prejudices towards hiring of a pregnant woman.
When talking about prejudices this Act also prohibits employers from interfering with a pregnant employees personal reproductive health care choices. This includes choices in regards to birth control, sterilization and abortion. An employer cannot allow their prejudices or those of their employees, clients and customers affect the personal healthcare decisions of the pregnant employee. As an example an employer cannot fire an employee whom chose abortion or require an employee to terminate a pregnancy in order to keep their job position.
Under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act woman affected by pregnancy or a related condition must be treated in the same manner as other employees who are similar in their ability or inability to work. An employer may not single out pregnancy related medical conditions for medical clearance procedures that are not required of employees who are similar in their ability or inability.
Employers cannot set policies prohibiting pregnant woman from working as long as they want during their pregnancy as long as the pregnant employee is able to perform their required job duties. An employer may not set policies that prohibit an employee from returning to work until after a certain length of time after childbirth or prohibit a pregnant employer, who was previously on leave for a pregnant related condition, from returning to work if that condition is no longer a concern.
If an employer allows for temporarily disabled employees to take disability leave or leave without pay they must allow a pregnant employee who becomes temporarily disabled due to the pregnancy to take the same leave. Another Act regulating the leave allotted to a pregnant employee is FMLA, known as the Family and Medical Leave Act. This also applies to the holding of the employee’s job position. An employer is required to hold the job position of an employee who is on a leave due to their pregnancy or pregnancy related condition, for the same length of time it would hold the position of an...

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