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What constitutes pregnancy discrimination in the workplace?

If a Missouri applicant or employee is treated differently or unfavorably because they are pregnant, just had a child or has a medical condition related to childbirth or pregnancy, the employer may be violating the law. According to the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act prohibits employers from discriminating in pay, hiring, firing, promotions, job assignments, training, layoff and fringe benefits based on the pregnancy.

This applies to any employer that has 15 or more employees. It also includes employment agencies, local governments, the federal government and labor organizations. There may also be paid leave requirements based on state and local laws. If you are unable to perform certain job requirements because of childbirth or pregnancy, you must be treated the same way as any other employee who is temporarily disabled.

If your employer provides you with health benefits, you must be given the same level as spouses of other female employees or other male employees. It does not matter whether you are single or married, you must be treated the same. Your employer also cannot ask for a medical note from your doctor unless similar documents are required of other employees who deal with short-term disabilities.

Employers are also prohibited from discriminating against an employee or applicant who may get pregnant in the future. There are certain questions that cannot be asked during an interview that would not be asked to someone who is not pregnant. Women should feel comfortable getting pregnant and still know that their job is secure.

This information is provided for educational purposes and should not be interpreted as legal advice.

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