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What is pregnancy discrimination?

On Behalf of | Dec 30, 2020 | Pregnancy Discrimination

In the state of Hawaii, federal law makes it illegal for an employer to discriminate against a pregnant woman. If the woman finds it difficult to fulfill her usual job responsibilities, her employer must make accommodations. Harassing a pregnant woman is also forbidden under federal law. Here’s a closer look at workplace discrimination laws related to pregnancy.

What are the workplace pregnancy discrimination laws?

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act makes it illegal to discriminate against a pregnant woman at any point in the job process. This includes refusing to hire a woman because she’s pregnant as well as demoting her shortly after she announces her pregnancy. This also includes reducing her pay, giving her undesirable job assignments, refusing to offer health benefits, not giving her adequate training or firing her altogether. Any of these actions could result in a discrimination lawsuit.

In some cases, a woman might become temporarily disabled during her pregnancy and find it difficult to complete her regular duties. Her employer is required by law to accommodate her by giving her alternate duties. If necessary, her employer might have to allow her to take leave. Certain medical issues caused by pregnancy are covered by the Americans With Disabilities Act, meaning that pregnant women may qualify for disability benefits.

Federal law also prohibits employers from harassing a pregnant woman. Harassment could include bullying, insulting, making fun of the woman or otherwise creating a hostile work environment.

What should you do if you’re facing discrimination?

If you’re dealing with pregnancy discrimination in the workplace, start gathering as much evidence as much as possible. Hard evidence like text messages and emails can benefit your case. You should also contact an attorney to figure out how to proceed in order to receive the compensation that you deserve.