What Is The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978?

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The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 guarantees workplace protections to pregnant people. If you’ve been discriminated against or your workplace rights were violated while you were pregnant or after you gave birth you may be able to file a claim against your employer for damages.

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act works in conjunction with Title VII of the Civil Rights Act to guarantee that pregnant persons are not fired, demoted, or in any way penalized for pregnancy. It also ensures that pregnant persons who have special physical needs get accommodations for their condition.

What Is The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978?

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 was passed to make sure that pregnant people were not being unfairly penalized for needing accommodations or taking time off from work because they needed medical care. This law forbids employers from discriminating against pregnant people in all areas of work including:

  • Hiring
  • Firing
  • Promotion
  • Pay
  • All employment benefits

It also forbids retaliation against pregnant people who require extra time or special accommodations.

Examples of Pregnancy Discrimination Under The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978

Some common types of discrimination against pregnant people include:

Not allowing pregnant people accommodations like sitting instead of standing during a shift, reduced hours, not having to lift above a certain weight, or extra time off for medical care and appointments.

  • Not promoting someone based on their pregnancy.
  • Trying to move a pregnant person to a different job because of their pregnancy.
  • Trying to replace someone because of a pregnancy.
  • Refusing to hire someone because they are pregnant.

There are many scenarios that come up in workplaces everyday where pregnant workers are discriminated against. For example, a pregnant person is denied a chair to sit during their shift instead of having to stand. Anyone who has experienced pregnancy discrimination can file a complaint with the EEOC.

What Should You Do If You Experience Pregnancy Discrimination

If you’ve been a victim of pregnancy discrimination and you want to file a complaint with the EEOC it’s important to have as much evidence as you can get. Whenever you experience discrimination due to pregnancy try to document it. Take screenshots of texts or emails. Get photos or videos of incidents. Save copies of your pay stubs and schedules.

You can file a complaint for pregnancy discrimination through the EEOC’s website. You can submit your evidence that way also.


If you’ve been discriminated against at a job because of a pregnancy you can file a claim against that employer. If your employer has more than 15 employees, they must abide by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978. If you want to file a complaint against your employer with the EEOC it’s a good idea to speak with a lawyer that specializes in employment discrimination. Fill out a Free Case Evaluation form now to be connected with an independent employment discrimination attorney who subscribes to the website and may be able to help with your case. 

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