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What qualifies as pregnancy discrimination?

Many Indiana women maintain their current jobs when they are pregnant or have recently delivered a baby. While new or expectant mothers are often given respect from their employers and coworkers, there are also situations in which you may be discriminated against and mistreated. The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has detailed the situations that qualify as pregnancy discrimination.


First, it is important for you to understand that pregnancy discrimination can happen even when you are not pregnant. If you have a medical issue stemming from childbirth and are treated unfairly because of it, this qualifies as pregnancy discrimination. Adoptive and foster parents can also be discriminated against if they are not given the same leave and benefits as other pregnant employees.


Next, you must understand that there is no set amount or limit of leave that a new mother or father is required to receive. The Family and Medical Leave Act does allow eligible employees to be given up to 12 weeks leave, but whether or not you are paid is up to your employer. Many employers allow mothers to use their vacation and sick pay during this time.


While you may not be given paid leave, you should be allowed to take the same amount of time off that any other employee with a disability is given. This is also true if there are any impairments resulting from being pregnant that necessitate temporary time off.


There are also certain situations that may qualify as pregnancy harassment, including if you are demoted or fired because of a pregnancy-related condition. Employers are also expected to offer suitable duties to pregnant women, just as they would for a disabled employee. This information is not intended as legal advice but is provided for education.

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