Employers Guide to Avoid Pregnancy Discrimination LawsuitJanice Ticar
July 24, 2009 — 2,770 views
Pregnancy discrimination cases are costing companies more money than any other claims. In fiscal year 2003, the EEOC and the State and Local agencies collected $12.4 million from lawsuit charges of pregnancy discrimination.
Today, thanks to the Pregnancy Discrimination awareness campaign programs, lawsuit cases concerning pregnancy discrimination declines. However, some employers often overlook the context of the pregnancy discrimination act due to confusion.
For many employers confusion is the product of unspecific explanation and ever changing Pregnancy Discrimination Act.
What constitute pregnancy discrimination law?
According to Pregnancy Discrimination Act or better known as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, discrimination based on pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions constitutes unlawful sex discrimination under the Title VII.
The act covers private companies, states and local governments with employees ranging from 15 or more employees. It also applies to employment agencies and labor organizations, as well as the federal government.
Indeed, any form of discrimination because of pregnancy is illegal. Women who are pregnant or affected by related conditions are protected by the said act. Employers are expected to treat them with the same manner as other applicant or employees with similar abilities or limitations.
The Following are the areas where a pregnant woman has a protection based on their rights stated by the Title VII of Pregnancy Discrimination Act.
1. Hiring - a pregnant woman must be welcomed by employers to any vacant position on his/her companies depending on her ability to handle the job., Refusing a woman based on her pregnancy, pregnancy related condition or because of the certain prejudice you feel about them is unlawful.
2. Pregnancy and Maternity - Employers have no rights to single out pregnancy related conditions to determine an employee's ability to work. Pregnant women can work as long as she can handle the entire task given to her. On the other hand, if she cannot perform it well, an employer must modify the tasks or alter an assignment to other employees with work she can readily handle.
As an employer, you can screen test her concerning her pregnancy related condition to safeguard her about the danger of overworking. You can ask for a doctor's statement or medical certificate to assist her needs.
If her medical records would not allow her to do the task, she once did, you can grant her a vacation or sick leave depending on the terms and condition both of you decide.
Do not rely on your own assumption of what is good for her; always consult someone knowledgeable about the Pregnancy Discrimination Act to safeguard yourself from committing unnecessary move.
After she leaves your office to take her leave of absence because of her pregnancy, you must hold open the job until she goes back. You have to treat her situation just like those sick and disabled employees
Female employees are entitled for about four months of pregnancy disability leave during which she spent time to recover from her disability due to her pregnancy, childbirth, or other related medical condition.
3. Health Insurance - employers must provide their employee with health insurance to protect them against health related problems such as pregnancy.
Health insurance is employer's companion in giving health care benefits and protection to his/her employee. The amounts payable by the insurance provider can be limited only to the same extent as costs for other conditions. No additional, increased or larger deductible can be imposed.
Employers must provide the same level of health benefits for spouses of male employees as they do for spouses of female employees.
4. Fringe benefits - the employer must provide same benefits to pregnant woman and other employees.
If an employer provides any benefits to workers on leave, the employer must provide the same benefits for those on leave for pregnancy related conditions.
Employees with pregnancy related disabilities must be treated the same as other temporarily disabled employees for accrual and crediting of seniority, vacation calculation, pay increases and temporary disability benefits.
As an employer, you have great concerns on the welfare of your employee. The productivity of your company is based on its workers capabilities to handle the job.
Therefore, it is indeed wise not to commit error by overlooking the pregnancy discrimination law. To ease your confusion better consult the matter with the pregnancy discrimination lawyers to give you the complete legal details abut the fast changing Pregnancy Discrimination act.
About the Author
Before becoming a writer, Janice spent her time reading a lot of educational books. From this hobby, she soon discovered her passion for writing and took up Journalism. She became a paralegal writer, and worked as an editor/columnist to a magazine specializing on government and business affairs. Later on, she evolves herself into a legal writer of a famous Los Angeles based law firm.