Despite the United States having federal legislation to protect the rights of pregnant employees, 2019 saw a 35% increase in pregnancy discrimination settlements. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act forbids employers from discriminating against pregnant women in any aspect of employment. Some states, like Arizona, have expanded on this act with state-level laws.
Are there discrimination laws for pregnant employees in Arizona?
The Arizona Civil Rights Act amendment was signed into law to take effect July 19, 2021. This amendment further supports the protection of pregnant workers by allowing the state’s Attorney General Office to investigate and enforce these protections under state law. The act applies to workplaces with 15 or more employees.
What does Arizona consider pregnancy discrimination?
Arizona’s amendment specifies that both pregnant women and women who have recently given birth are treated the same under the law. Your boss can’t fire you, harass you or disqualify you from promotions because of pregnancy. It’s also discrimination if an employer refuses to give a pregnant woman reasonable accommodations at work.
What rights does a pregnant woman have at work?
In general, women have the right to fair treatment during pregnancy as well as after experiencing a pregnancy loss. If there are pregnancy-related disabilities, an employer must accommodate them as they would for any other disability. The law stipulates the following:
- You have the right to keep working as long as you can do your job.
- An employer cannot ask about pregnancy or family plans in an interview.
- You cannot be fired or harassed due to pregnancy-related disabilities.
- You have the right to reasonable accommodations as long as you can still perform your job with those accommodations.
Pregnancy itself is not a disability, but there are issues related to pregnancy that are. Conditions like gestational diabetes, placenta previa, morning sickness and preeclampsia are good examples. However, it’s best to check with a lawyer to determine whether your condition is a workplace disability.
Can you sue your employer for pregnancy discrimination?
If you believe that your employer has mistreated you because of your pregnancy or other related disabilities, you might be able to file a discrimination lawsuit. The first step is to file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for the right to sue.
Discrimination lawsuits can be a lengthy and confusing process, so it’s best to speak with a professional before deciding to file. A lawyer can answer questions that pertain specifically to your situation and help you determine if you have a case.