Pregnancy discrimination is against the law in Texas, under both State and Federal law. Employers are prohibited from firing or refusing to hire an employee because of a pregnancy or a pregnancy-related health condition. Discrimination can also occur when an employer refuses to promote an employee based on their pregnancy or otherwise treating an individual differently in the terms and conditions of employment based on their pregnancy. You have rights as an expecting mother in the workplace. Protect those rights with assistance from Perez Law. Our law firm has experience helping pregnant workers with employment-related claims and can help you navigate these difficult situations.
What is the Law?
The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 and the Texas Commission on Human Rights Act prohibit discrimination based on pregnancy in any aspect of employment, including hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, layoff, training, fringe benefits, such as leave and health insurance, and any other term or condition of employment.
If an expecting mother is temporarily unable to perform her job due to a medical condition related to pregnancy or childbirth, the employer must treat her in the same way as it treats any other temporarily disabled employee. The employer may have to provide light duty, alternative assignments, disability leave, or unpaid leave to pregnant employees.
Medical conditions related to pregnancy, like Impairments resulting from pregnancy gestational diabetes or preeclampsia, may be disabilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). An employer may have to provide a reasonable accommodation (such as leave or modifications that enable an employee to perform her job) for a disability related to pregnancy, absent undue hardship (significant difficulty or expense).
Finally, an employer is prohibited from subjecting a pregnant employee to harassment because of pregnancy, childbirth, or a medical condition related to pregnancy or childbirth. Harassment is illegal when it is so frequent or severe that it creates a hostile or offensive work environment. Unlawful harassment can come from the employee's supervisor, a supervisor in another area, a co-worker, or someone who is not an employee of the employer, such as a client or customer if the employer is aware of it.
Proving Pregnancy Discrimination
As with other forms of employment discrimination, these claims require the individual to prove that they were treated unfavorably because of their pregnancy or pregnancy-related condition. This can be done using negative remarks or comments that relate to the employee's pregnancy or pregnancy-related conditions, , or through showing a difference in treatment when compared with others who are not pregnant or do not have the same pregnancy-related conditions.