regnant? You’ve got legal rights protecting you against job discrimination.

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 forbids employers from discriminating against workers on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions. The act says women affected by pregnancy or related conditions must be treated in the same manner as other applicants or workers with similar abilities or limitations, such as temporary medical conditions.

As long as a pregnant woman can perform her job functions, an employer cannot refuse to hire her because of her pregnancy or because of the employer’s prejudices about pregnant women or the prejudices of co-workers, clients or customers.

If a worker is unable to perform a job because of pregnancy, the employer must treat her the same as any other temporarily disabled worker—for example, by providing modified tasks, alternative assignments, disability leave or leave without pay.

A pregnant worker can remain on the job as long as she is able to perform the work. The employer must hold open a job for a pregnancy-related absence as long as jobs are normally held open for workers on sick or disability leave. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act also bans the employer from terminating, demoting or disciplining a worker because of her pregnancy.

If you think you have been discriminated against because of pregnancy, you may file a complaint with the U.S. Equal Opportunity Commission by calling 800-669-4000 for more information (800-669-6820 for the hearing impaired).

You also can find helpful information on the following sites:

Facts About Pregnancy Discrimination, a fact sheet from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Factsheet: Your Rights During Pregnancy and Childbirth, information about the rights of pregnant women on AFSCME’s website.

Pregnancy Discrimination Charges, a chart showing pregnancy discrimination charges filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and state and local Fair Employment Practices agencies, and how they were resolved.

Prepared by the AFL-CIO,

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